5 Signs of Lymphedema

5 Signs of Lymphedema

If you're preparing for surgery, especially any surgery that involves your lymph nodes, your doctor  may tell you to watch for signs of lymphedema

Lymphedema refers to the intense swelling of a single limb (or both arms or legs). It often develops in those who have had lymph nodes removed as part of a cancer treatment, but lymphedema can arise from other surgeries or infections too. 

At Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, our team of board-certified podiatrists can help you manage the swelling if it arises. If you do develop lymphedema, seek medical care right away. 

Signs you may have lymphedema

Reach out to us as soon as you spot any of these five signs of lymphedema. 


Swelling (also called edema) is a common sign of lymphedema. Swelling associated with lymphedema may extend from the top of your arm down to your fingers or from the top of your leg down to your toes.

The increased swelling can make your rings, bracelets, or even clothes feel too tight. If you start to notice swelling, take off any jewelry that may be compromised if swelling continues.

Tightness and achiness in your affected limb

Lymphedema can cause a range of sensations in the affected limb(s), including:

These changes can occur suddenly.

Limited range of motion

In severe cases, swelling can make it harder for you to move your limbs normally. Limited range of motion can compromise the functionality of your arm or leg, and it can make it harder for you to complete your daily tasks.

Recurring infection

Your lymph nodes are a key part of your immune system because they help to filter foreign substances, and they contain immune cells that fight invading foreign cells. 

If you have recurrent infections, your lymph nodes can swell, become overworked, and eventually compromise the flow of your lymph fluids. When this happens, your lymph nodes can’t drain properly, which leads to swelling.

Skin changes

There are many conditions and diseases that affect your skin. If you notice sudden skin changes, take note. Lymphedema can make your skin feel tight (because of the intense swellIng), but your skin may also appear red, hard, or thickened.

When to seek medical attention

If you spot any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call one of our offices in Tamarac, Coral Springs, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, or Hollywood, Florida. We can recommend the right treatment for you to help combat the swelling. Potential treatments may include:

To learn more about lymphedema or to explore your treatment options, request an appointment today.

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