Font Size
A
A
A

Lymphedema (cont.)

Medical Treatment

Medical treatment consists primarily of compression therapies to help stimulate the flow of lymph in the affected area. These must be practiced in cooperation with your health care practitioner or lymphedema therapist to ensure that they are performed correctly. There are different types of compression therapies available, ranging from compression garments and bandages to massage techniques and pneumatic compression devices. A general principle of compression therapies is that the pressure applied is greatest at the distal end (hand or foot) of the extremity and gradually decreases toward the center of the body. Your therapist may also recommend light exercises for the affected body part to help stimulate lymph drainage.

Medications

Medications are useful in the treatment of filariasis, which is the primary cause of lymphedema worldwide but rare in the U.S. Filariasis is treated with the drug diethylcarbamazine.

Antibiotics may be necessary for the treatment of secondary infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissues (see below) that are a frequent complication of lymphedema.

Surgery

A number of different surgical techniques have been carried out, but no operation is able to cure lymphedema. When surgery is performed, the goal of treatment is the removal of excess fluid and/or scar tissue.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/8/2014

Must Read Articles Related to Lymphedema

Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in women. Symptoms and signs of breast cancer include breast lumps, nipple discharge or inversion, or change...learn more >>
Edema
Edema Edema, or the abnormal accumulation of fluid in tissues in the body can be caused by several factors. Treatment of edema depends on the cause of the edema.learn more >>
Lumpectomy
Lumpectomy Lumpectomy is surgery to remove a suspected malignant (cancerous) tumor, or lump, and surrounding tissue from a woman's breast. The size and location of the lum...learn more >>




Medical Dictionary