Picture of Lymphedema
Lymphedema is an uncomfortable condition that occurs when lymph flow is impeded. Lymphedema may occur due to a malformed lymphatic system that may be present at birth or manifest later in life. The condition may also occur as a complication due to cancer, infection, injury, scar tissue, radiation, or the removal of lymph nodes. Anything that blocks or damages the lymphatic vessels may result in lymphedema.
Lymphedema causes swelling in an affected arm or leg. Along with the visible swelling, other symptoms may include
- skin tightness,
- limb heaviness,
- skin thickening,
- difficulty sleeping,
- hair loss, and
- difficulty moving a joint in the affected limb.
Text Reference: National Cancer Institute: "Lymphedema (PDQ) – Patient Version"