Lymphedema is a gradual increase in the volume of a limb due to a violation of the outflow of lymph and its subsequent accumulation in the intercellular space. Lymphedema is a chronic pathology of the lymphatic system leading to the development of trophic skin changes (ulcers, increased pigmentation, eczema, thickening, etc.).
With a late diagnosis of this condition or a delay in treatment, patients develop elephantiasis with ulcerations and lymphorrhea, which leads to a significant decrease in the quality of life and even disability. The course of lymphedema is steadily progressing, so lifelong treatment is required. Depending on the stage and condition of the skin, it can be carried out by conservative and surgical methods.
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If you notice the occurrence of the following symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor:
- painless swelling on the back of the feet/hands;
- unilateral defeat;
- habitual skin colour (colour does not change);
- the spread of oedema to the overlying parts of the limb in the later stages;
- skin tightening, the appearance of increased peeling.
A qualified specialist will conduct the necessary examination and select an individual therapy regimen taking into account the general condition of the patient and the characteristics of the development of the disease.
Treatment is aimed at establishing the outflow of lymphatic fluid from the intercellular space, stimulating the movement of lymph along the lymphatic paths, reorganizing the compacted connective tissue and activating the muscle mechanism of fluid tissue movement. Often, the doctor uses a conservative method of therapy, in extreme cases - surgical. The doctor assesses the need for surgery, starting from the 3rd stage of the disease. The operations are aimed at restoring lymphatic drainage and combating the effects of lymphedema.