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Lymphedema

Lymphedema is an abnormal collection of protein-rich fluid in the interstitium resulting from obstruction of lymphatic drainage. Lymphedema could be primary or secondary. Primary: Lymphedema arising from a developmental abnormality of the lymphatic system is classified as primary lymphedema. These types are as follows: 1.Congenital lymphedema (Milroy disease), 2. Lymphedema praecox(Meige disease),

and 3. Lymphedema tarda.

Secondary: Lymphedema is caused by an acquired defect in the lymphatic system and is commonly associated with Filariasis, obesity, infection, neoplasm, trauma.

Signs and symptoms of lymphedema include the following:

  • Chronic swelling of an extremity preceded lymphedema
  • Primarily lower extremity involvement (80%) but can also involve the upper extremities, face, genitalia,    and trunk
  • Fevers, chills, and generalized weakness
  • Fatigue related to the size and weight of the extremity
  • Embarrassment in public
  • Severe impairment of daily activities
  • Recurrent bacterial or fungal infections
  • Recurrent episodes of cellulitis, lymphangitis, fissuring, ulcerations, and/or verrucous changes

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