Facts About Lymphoedema

  • Lymphoedema is the term for swelling due. Lymph who can not drain properly.
  • Lymph flows in small vessels of the limbs and the various organs from the heart
  • For many operations including abdominal cancer and breast cancer lymph nodes removed
    • then there may be lymphoedema
  • Treatment consists of support stockings, physiotherapy and in some cases diuretics

What are lymph and lymphatic system?

The body has two circuits: the blood circulation and lymphatic system.

The heart is the pump of the general circulation, in which oxygen and nutrients are transported into the body through the arteries (arteries) and the oxygen-depleted blood returns to the heart through the blood vessels (veins). The blood then passes the lungs where it is oxygenated and re-emitted into the blood circulation with oxygen to the tissue.

The second circuit, the lymphatic system, are separated from the blood circulation and runs only in one direction, back to the heart. Lymph is Latin and means “clear water”.

The lymph contains fluid and white blood cells “is dissipated, bled out” of the blood vessels and into the body tissue. The excess fluid in the tissue outside the blood vessels is drawn into the lymphatic vessels, which function as a kind of drainage system. Small lymph accumulates gradually to larger lymphatic vessels centrally in the body and end up running into the bloodstream.

Lymph transported at the major lymphatic vessels in the center of the body, as we move, by the muscles pressing the lymph vessels and lymph presses inwardly.

Lymfekarene has a flap system that allows the lymph can only move one way – towards the center. In addition to lymphatic vessels consist of lymphatic nodes. The lymph nodes are relay stations, where the lymph is purified and impurities, viruses and bacteria combated. That is the reason that one particular may feel swollen lymph nodes in the neck when you have laryngitis.

The lymphatic system is found in anywhere in the body and has three main tasks:

  • To absorb extra fluid
  • Capturing different elements that have penetrated through the blood vessels
  • To carry out the body’s defense against viruses, bacteria and cancer cells

In many ways, the lymphatic system is considered as a transport system for the key white blood cells. They reach out to all parts of the body and attack foreign elements that may attack the body. The white blood cells have the unique property that they can recognize infections that previously attacked the body.

What is lymphedema?

As part of cancer treatment is the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels often removed to eliminate the possible spread of the disease to the lymphatic system and to divide stage disease. The spread to the lymphatic system may influence the prognosis of the disease and is spread can be decisive for whether you have to have chemotherapy or radiation afterwards.

When removing the lymph nodes will transport path of the lymph however blocked. Removal of the lymphoid tissues, e.g., in the groin or in the small pelvis, lymph will accumulate in the legs. This is especially true for patients operated on for cancer of the abdomen or in the lower urinary tract.

Not all who undergo such operations, experience discomfort, but about 20% will get lymphedema if removed lymph nodes as part of the treatment for cancer in the abdomen. Often hits lymfødemet only one leg.

When the lymph build up can cause swelling of legs and ankles, and both lower legs and thighs can be thicker.

The most common symptoms are an unpleasant and indefinable feeling of change, tension, heaviness and both visible or palpable changes in the skin or under the skin.

What treatment is there?

The mode can not be cured, but many genes can be alleviated by their own physical therapy or treatment. Some therapists have special training in the treatment of lymphatic drainage. A special kind of massage, which is followed by bandaging, and individual adjustment of elastic support stockings. Subsidies can be given to this kind of treatment.

What can the patient do?

  • Keep the affected leg high. This can be done by putting the leg up on a stool when sitting, and by lifting the foot of the bed, so the legs held high during sleep, so the lymph can easily run back
  • It is recommended to use support stockings all day and take them on in the morning before you get up
  • Massage in upward movements where you “milking” the swelling of the leg – or arm

How is long-term prospects?

When the skin is swollen, it will easily crack, and it can form the portal of entry for bacteria and inflammation of the skin. It is therefore important to practice good hygiene and use of moisturisers and the like, especially if there are wounds or cuts.

If lymfeansamlingen clearly linked to the menstrual cycle, and with a general tendency to swelling in the body, it may be appropriate to use diuretics for short periods.

In very rare cases, surgery may be relevant.

Lymphoedema is a permanent state. Patients are attached to a different extent, and the genes will therefore also vary considerably from individual to individual. Usually takes you far if you follow the advice above.

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