Lymphedema is a chronic condition brought about by cancer treatment in many individuals. Its most common symptom is swelling of one or more of your extremities, such as leg(s) or arm(s). Swelling can also appear in lymph nodes in the neck, head or genital area. Our skilled vascular surgeon, Dr. Chris Pittman, helps patients manage the condition with personalized lymphedema treatment at our Tampa vein treatment center.
Lymphedema Causes and Risk Factors
Lymph node removal or damage, as part of (or a side effect of) cancer therapies is common. Lymphedema is more likely to occur in older patients who are overweight and/or have rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. In some cases, impaired lymphatic function is inherited.
What Are Lymph Nodes?
Lymph glands (or nodes) are a part of your body’s immune system, connected throughout the body by the lymph vessels of your circulatory system. The lymphatic system acts as a filter of cancer cells and foreign particles in your body. Lymph nodes can become swollen and tender with a variety of illnesses, from strep throat to cancer.
Lymphatic System Function
Lymphosites (white blood cells within the lymph nodes) produce antibodies to fight various types of illness detected in the filtering process. Oncologists often stage a cancer diagnosis by evaluating the degree to which cancer has affected local lymph nodes (metastasised).
Treatment Options for Managing Lymphedema
Although lymphedema is incurable, it can be managed to improve your quality of life by decreasing discomfort and inflammation of the affected extremity. Here, Dr. Chris Pittman, Medical Director and CEO of Vein911 outlines your lymphedema treatment options, which include:
- Low key exercise: Exercises where you gently move the swollen arm or leg helps drain the excess lymph fluid and relieve swelling.
- Compression garments: Compression or wrapping of affected limb(s) helps lymph fluid flow back toward your torso for drainage.
- Massage therapy: Manual lymphatic drainage can also relieve lymphedema symptoms.
- Surgery: In serious cases, our doctor could recommend surgery to remove excess arm or leg tissue.
- Hygiene: Maintain excellent skin care habits if you have lymphedema, and be on the alert for skin problems such as injury or infection.
Get Expert Lymphedema Treatment in St. Petersburg and Tampa, FL
Vein911 is a leading vein treatment center in the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg area. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce recently named Vein911 a semi-finalist for the Small Business of the Year Award for 2017. Our vein doctor provides advanced medical and cosmetic vein treatments.
If you’d like to know more about lymphedema causes, or you’re seeking expert lymphedema treatment here in Tampa, contact Vein911 online, or call us at 855-396-9911 today.