Lymphedema is the name of a type of swelling. It happens when lymph builds up in your body's soft tissues. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells that defend against germs. It can build up when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. It usually happens in the arms or legs.
Causes of lymphedema include
- Scar tissue from radiation therapy or surgical removal of lymph nodes
- Inherited conditions in which lymph nodes or vessels are absent or abnormal
Treatment can help control symptoms. It includes exercise, compression devices, skin care, and massage.
- Guide to Understanding Lymphedema (Living Beyond Breast Cancer) - PDF
- Lymphedema (Lymphatic Education & Research Network)
- Lymphedema (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Lymphedema (PDQ)-Patient Version (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
Treatment and Therapies
Living With Lymphedema
- For People With Lymphedema (American Cancer Society) Also in Spanish
- Lymphedema Self-Care (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish