Lymphedema: what it is, photos

Problems with lymphatic drainage can occur in various diseases. Most often the first and most famous manifestation of lymphedema is swelling of the legs. Many patients do not attach the due importance to the symptom and seek help when pain and trophic disorders. Consider, what is lymphedema, and how he is.

What is it?

Lymphedema is a violation of the outflow of lymph of different degrees of severity. This pathological process may be involved as a small peripheral vessels and large lymphatic trunks. The disease most often affects women. One of the key manifestations of the disease is swelling of the lower extremities, which slowly progresses and leads to trophic disorders.

The reasons for the development

Violation of lymph drainage may be due to various reasons. Let us consider the most common:

  • Complications disease of the blood vessels of the legs (chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, etc.).
  • Traumatic or post-surgical damage to lymphatic vessels (rupture, narrowing, occlusion, ligation). All these conditions can cause the development of lymphedema of the upper and lower extremities.
  • Neoplasms of the lymphatic system. Compression tumors lymph ducts leads to expansion of vessels, and to stagnation.
  • Inflammation (parasitic infestation, pathogenic bacteria). In countries with tropical climates some species of mosquitoes carry filariasis. This disease is accompanied by swollen lymph nodes, fever and severe lymphedema.
  • Consequence of chemotherapy.
  • Types of lymphedema

    Taking into account the reasons for the development of the disease there are two types of lipotase:

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  • Primary. The reason it becomes a congenital anomaly of the lymphatic ducts. Symptoms for this pathology begins to disturb the patient in childhood.
  • Secondary. Disruption of the lymphatic system is associated with trauma or other pathological condition. Among this group the most common is lymphedema of the legs.
  • What is this pathology?

    The symptoms of the disease depend on its stage:

  • Reversible (soft swelling). At this stage, mild swelling, limb increases in volume, but the proliferation of connective tissue occurs. These symptoms are usually observed in the evening, but after a rest are themselves. Swelling increases after a long stay in a standing pose or after physical activity.
  • Irreversible swelling. The swelling does not disappear, begins to grow connective tissue. The skin at the site of the swelling of the dense, painful. Pressing on a swollen leg leads to the appearance of persistent signs of pitting. The patient concerned about fatigue, difficulty and pain when walking. May develop convulsions.
  • Elephantiasis. A limb may be deformed, develops osteoarthritis. The patient is constantly concerned about the pain and heaviness in the legs. The foot ceases to function properly. Appear trophic disorders of the skin: ulcers, erosions, eczema, which are not amenable to classical conservative therapy. At this stage, the disease leads to disability and may cause of death from infectious complications appeared.
  • Лимфостаз: что это такое, фото

    Principles of diagnosis

    To determine the severity and identify the cause of the disease a patient’s guide to the vascular surgeon (or considering). For diagnostic use:

    • Vascular ultrasound;
    • Ultrasound examination of abdominal cavity and small pelvis;
    • rentgencontrastnye research methods;
    • clinical analysis: General analysis of blood, urine, biochemistry, coagulation, etc.
    • lymphography, lymphoscintigraphy etc.
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    Accurate complex surveys, selects the attending doctor is given presumptive diagnosis.

    How to treat this disease?

    Treatment depends on the stage volume of the lesion and the presence of comorbidity. The main goal of therapy is to address the symptoms of lymphedema and restore normal lymph drainage. General measures include a diet low in salt and carbohydrates, moderate exercise, swimming, the mode of the day.

    Of great importance among the non-pharmacological measures belongs to the compression underwear. It is used to prevent and eliminate the symptoms of lymphedema. Compression stockings are divided into several classes depending on the degree of compression. A therapeutic compression garment needs to choose a specialist, and preventive patient can get.

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    Drug treatment consists of reception of phlebotonics, immunomodulators, enzymes, angioprotectors, vitamins and antiplatelet agents. With the ineffectiveness of conservative therapy and complications have resorted to surgical procedures and relieving the lymphatic vessels surgically. Preference is given to minimally invasive endoscopic techniques.

    Therapy folk remedies can be used in mild disease or in combination with medication. To do this, use lotions and compresses on the basis of Acorus calamus, leaves of cabbage, succession, chamomile, cucumber, etc. Inside the patient takes the teas and tinctures to improve the functioning of the vascular system and normalize immune system. All the herbs and recipes should individually discuss with a specialist, not to harm herself in such an alternative treatment.

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    Prevention is aimed at preventing the major diseases that contribute to the development of lymphedema. To do this, the patient is recommended to wear prophylactic compression garments, to choose the right exercise and control your diet.