What is Lymphedema Treatment?

by Clive West   11/26/10

The lymphatic system plays a key part in the body's immune system and its function is to purge excess fluid (called 'lymph') from the inter-tissue spaces. The lymph contains elements such as bacteria and other waste material and these are removed when the lymph is filtered through one of the lymph nodes. Lymph vessels carry the lymph fluid around the body and the liquid is pushed by contractions in the adjacent muscles.

If the lymph vessels become damaged, die or are removed (as can be the case with operations like mastectomies), fluid can rapidly build up causing painful swelling (edema) in the affected limbs. In severe cases the skin will stretch to the splitting point and lymph fluid can then ooze out. This, in turn, can give rise to burning and permanent scarring.

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