Lymphedema is an accumulation of fluid (lymph) in the soft tissue located just below the skin. This vascular condition can occur anywhere in the body, but most often happens in an arm or a leg.
There are two types of lymphedema: primary and secondary. While there is no cure for these conditions, which are usually chronic, vascular experts at Dignity Health offer treatments to help people with lymphedema relieve their symptoms and enjoy a normal, healthy lifestyle.
To learn more about how we treat lymphedema in Arizona, Find a Doctor at Dignity Health.
The lymphatic system is a vast network of lymph vessels and nodes that helps your body remove toxins and waste. Lymph is a clear liquid made of infection-fighting white blood cells. It flows through the entire lymphatic system.
When a lymph node or any part of this network is damaged, symptoms may gradually develop several weeks later. These include:
- Swelling in all or part of the affected body area (s)uch as the hards, arms, or fingers
- Heavy or tight feeling
- Aching pain or discomfort
- Hardened and thickened skin
- Difficulty moving the affected limb
- Infections in the affected area
For a diagnosis of your symptoms, meet with a skilled vascular specialist at Dignity Health. We use the latest diagnostic tests to evaluate your condition and customize your treatment.
The buildup of lymph fluid in the body is a direct result of damage to the lymphatic system, such as when lymph is not able to drain properly through a lymph node.
If there is a defect in the lymphatic system, it causes primary lymphedema. The most common type of lymphedema, primary lymphedema is caused when a lymph node is damaged or removed. This can be the result of infection, injury, surgery, cancer, scar tissue, or radiation treatment.
Lymphedema Treatment at Dignity Health
Lymphedema cannot be cured, but doctors at Dignity Health can provide care to reduce symptoms that cause discomfort. Treatment for lymphedema may include exercise or professional massage to improve circulation, bandages or a compression sleeve to reduce swelling, and good skin care to prevent cracking (k)eeping it clean, dry, and moisturized.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of developing lymphedema in those that are overweight.
Vascular experts at Dignity Health are dedicated to helping people with lymphedema in Arizona find relief from discomfort and enjoy a more optimal daily life.