Lymphedema is a common problem that affects about 1 in every 1,000 Americans. Lymphedema occurs in people of all ages, but it’s prevalent in those overweight, elderly, or living with arthritis. At Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA, with offices in Tamarac, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Las Olas Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Boca Raton, Florida, the team of expert podiatrists provides prompt diagnosis and treatment for lymphedema. To receive all-inclusive care, book online to schedule an appointment or call the nearest office today.
Lymphedema is a potentially serious medical condition that causes your arms and legs to swell. It usually occurs due to the removal of your lymph nodes during cancer treatment but can result from surgery or infection as well.
Currently, there’s no cure for lymphedema, but when caught early, it’s possible to both manage and treat.
Lymphedema usually occurs in only one arm or leg. Common symptoms include:
Lymphedema affects everyone differently. For some people, swelling is minor and barely noticeable. Others experience extreme swelling that makes it difficult to move or perform routine tasks.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent lymphedema, but there are things you can do to significantly lower your risk. If you’ve had or are preparing to undergo cancer surgery, the team at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA, recommends:
The team also recommends avoiding tight clothing, like compression garments, and keeping your affected limb clean. Routine skin and nail care can significantly lower your risk of an infection or other more serious complications.
To diagnose lymphedema, the team at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA, reviews your health history and asks about your symptoms and lifestyle. If you’ve recently undergone surgery for cancer, the team has enough information to make a diagnosis.
If the cause of your lymphedema isn’t apparent, the team orders an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound. These diagnostic imaging techniques provide detailed photos of your lymphatic system and can pinpoint the underlying culprit.
Treatment of lymphedema depends on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily life.
Following a comprehensive exam, the team might recommend light exercises to encourage lymph fluid drainage, massage, or pneumatic compression. You might also benefit from wrapping the affected arm or leg. Bandaging the limb can cause lymph fluid to move back toward your torso.
If you have a severe case of lymphedema, the team might recommend surgery. Removing excess tissue from your arm or leg can reduce swelling and encourage your body’s natural healing process.
To learn more about lymphedema treatment, request a consultation at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists, PA. Book online to schedule an appointment or call the nearest office today.