Lymphedema

Specialty of Physical therapy

Lymphedema is an excessive accumulation of a protein called lymph in a limb, caused by an alteration of the lymphatic system (immune system that helps fight infection and disease). The accumulation of this substance in the tissues produces edema and chronic swelling of one or more parts of the body especially in your arms or legs. There are several factors causing lymphedema, such as infections or congenital disease processes, but the most common cause is the removal or lymph node irradiation for the treatment of patients with breast cancer, causing the swelling of the arms and consequent disability. Currently, there are two lymphedema surgery procedures that solve successfully pathology: microsurgical transfer and lymph node-venous shunt microsurgical. The first technique involves the removal of healthy lymph with blood vessels elsewhere in the body, such as the superficial inguinal area, and its placement in the armpit. Thus, the transferred vessels create a new drainage system and reduce the accumulated lymph. Moreover, surgery microsurgical lymph-venous shunt is based on binding of superficial lymphatic vessels subcutaneous veins of the affected limb. Thus, it is possible to divert the lymph veins to download area lymphedema.

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