Learn care and management from a lymphedema specialist at the Ginger-K Lymphedema & Cancer Care Center in Morgan Hill, California. Phyllis Tubbs-Gingerich provides practical information for patients, caregivers, and professionals.
What Is Lympedema?
Lymphedema is an excessive accumulation of lymph, a fluid that originates in the spaces between body cells. It shows itself as a visible and palpable swelling of a body part — usually an arm or leg — and occurs when blocked, damaged, or missing lymphatic vessels fail to adequately move fluid and protein, resulting in an accumulation of fluids in the affected area. Lymphedema is most often seen in an arm or leg, but it can affect any part of the body. Click here for Brochure!
There are two forms of lymphedema. The symptoms and treatments of both are similar. Primary lymphedema is a congenital or familial condition and occurs when lymph vessels are underdeveloped or malformed. Secondary lymphedema, the most common form, is an acquired condition that is most often the result of surgery, radiation, lymph node dissection, severe trauma, or infection.
Signs & Symptoms
Lymphedema can develop in any part of the body. Signs to watch out for include:
|• Prickly, Burning, or Itchy Sensations in the Area
• A Heavy or Achy Feeling
• A Tight and Full Feeling in the Skin
• Ring, Watch, or Bracelet Tightness at Wrist
• Clothes Not Fitting in a Certain Area
|• Increased Swelling in an Area That Sometimes Recedes at Night but
Returns as the Body Is Vertical for a Long Period of Time
• Persistent Swelling
• Decreased Flexibility, Especially in the Knee, Elbow, Ankle, or Wrist