Lymphedema is a chronic condition that occurs when lymphatic fluid builds up in the soft tissue of the arm or legs. If left untreated, lymphedema can lead to thickening of the skin, frequent infections and reduced quality of life.
Chronic lymphedema can cause:
Lymphedema is often diagnosed clinically on physical examination. Some testing may be required to rule out venous thrombosis or insufficiency. Specialized testing of the lymphatic system (Lymphoscintigraphy) is rarely done.
Lymphedema is difficult to treat but early diagnosis and regular management can often lead to improvement in quality of life.