Lymphedema is a condition characterized by localized swelling resulting from the accumulation of protein rich interstitial fluid, it happens when the lymphatic system has been impaired in some way. Lymphedema can be a hereditary condition, known as primary lymphedema; or it can also be as the result of some sort of trauma like an accident, a burn, or a surgery involving lymph nodes. You may be at risk of lymphedema following a mastectomy or hysterectomy involving lymphnodes. This is known as secondary lymphedema. The treatment of lymphedema involves four components:
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage
- Compression Therapy (garments and bandaging)
- Skin Care
An intensive phase of treatment, called Combined Decongestive Therapy, uses all four components in the management of lymphedema. If you are concerned that you may be at risk or you have lymphedema, please consult your doctor.