Lymphedema refers to the mild or severe swelling that some people experience in their legs and arms as a result of a malfunctioning lymphatic system. This typically occurs when lymph nodes are removed or damaged, causing the system to become blocked and lymph fluid to build up. Though there is no cure for lymphedema, it can be managed through treatments so as to prevent more serious complications, such as skin infections, lymphangitis, and lymphangiosarcoma. Lymphedema treatments are designed to reduce the swelling as much as possible and keep the pain under control.
Symptoms of Lymphedema
There are several different signs and symptoms of lymphedema to watch out for, including:
- Swelling that affects part of or the whole arm or leg
- Heaviness in the extremity
- Tightness in the extremity
- Achiness and pain
- Restricted range of motion
- Tingling sensation
- Thick and hardened skin
- Recurring skin infections
Common Lymphedema Treatment Options
The best treatment for lymphedema will depend on its severity and initial cause. Your doctor may advise that you begin with compression treatments. This would require you to wear elastic sleeves or stockings or bandages that apply pressure to the extremity and encourage lymph flow. Using a pneumatic compression device may be another option, which consists of wearing sleeves or stockings that are attached to a pump providing consistent compression. Massages are a form of manual compression that some doctors recommend, and light exercise can also be utilized to stimulate lymph flow.
In more recent years, liposuction has proven to be the most effective surgical treatment for lymphedema patients. The procedure involves removing fatty tissue deposits from the extremity where lymphedema is present. After making several tiny incisions on the limb to be treated, the doctor will insert a tubular suction device that will break up the fat, liquefy it, and then suction it out. While this will help to reduce swelling, it works best when combined with the use of compression treatments.
Lymphedema Treatment from St. Louis Laser Liposuction Center
The lymphatic system plays an important role in the body’s immune and circulatory systems. Without being able to drain fluid properly, lymphedema is likely to develop. At St. Louis Laser Liposuction Center, our medical professionals are qualified to treat the symptoms of lymphedema and help you live more comfortably with the condition. Dr. Wright is a trusted source all types of liposuction procedures and has seen great results in many lymphedema patients. Schedule a consultation today and get the best treatment for lymphedema you can find!