When the lymph nodes are removed or damaged as part of a cancer treatment, patients can experience a condition known as lymphedema. Lymphedema is characterized by swelling that occurs in either the legs or arms, or both. The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which is then blocked after their removal. This triggers an immune response since lymph fluid is no long able to drain properly. This lymph fluid buildup results in the swelling. While there is no cure for this condition, a lymphedema specialist at Ogden Clinic in Utah can diagnose the issue early and offer tips to care for the affected limb.
If you have not yet been diagnosed with lymphedema, you will want to schedule an appointment with a lymphedema specialist at Ogden Clinic if you experience any of the following symptoms:
While lymphedema is frequently caused by cancer treatments like radiation or surgery to remove the lymph nodes, there are other factors that can be held responsible. To properly diagnose the cause of your condition, your lymphedema specialist may use an MRI scan, CT scan, Doppler ultrasound, or Lymphoscintigraphy to view any blockages of the lymphatic system, examine blood flow, and find any infections.
Once the cause of your lymphedema has been determined, your lymphedema specialist will recommend treatment and care tips to reduce swelling and manage pain, based on the severity of your condition. These include light exercises to encourage fluid drainage in the affected limb, wrapping the limb, massage, and wearing compression garments. For people with extreme cases of lymphedema, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove excess tissue from your arm or leg to help minimize swelling and discomfort.
If you have recently completed cancer treatment or notice unusual swelling in your arms and legs, it is important to make an appointment with a lymphedema specialist at Ogden Clinic. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.