If you suffer from conically swollen legs, then one of the conditions you may have is lymphedema. While some of the most common causes of leg swelling in patients over 50 is vein disease and lymphedema. Many people can suffer from this condition for years without realizing that there are lymphedema treatment options available to improve their condition and control leg swelling flares. Learn more about your options for lymphedema treatment through the Vein Center of North Texas.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema refers to the tissues swelling due to insufficient draining in the body’s lymphatic system. Our lymph nodes are an essential part of our lymphatic system, and any problem that blocks the drainage of the lymph fluids can cause this condition to develop. Lymphedema develops primarily along the arms and legs but can also affect the abdomen, neck, chest, and even genitals. Untreated lymphedema can even lead to an increased risk of skin infections, sepsis, and the inability to move the affected limb. Some common conditions include:
- Swelling along the arms and legs
- Restricted range of motion
- Heaviness or tightness in the affected limb
- Reoccurring infections in the affected limbs
- Hardening or thickening of the skin
Because the lymphatic system is part of our immune system can cause drastic consequences if not managed and treated. Our lymph nodes are responsible for managing muscle contractions, and when the lymph vessels are not able to properly lymph fluid, then problems will occur, including a high risk for sepsis, blistering, and skin infections. This condition is most commonly caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels, radiation treatment for cancer, cancer surgery leading to this condition, and parasitic infections that clog the lymph nodes.
Treatment Options For Lymphedema
At Vein Center of North Texas, our job as vein specialists is to provide you with vein and lymphatic care for your arms, legs, and other areas of the body. These treatment options include:
- Vein Ablation: When lymphedema is caused by chronic venous insufficiency, then vein ablation may be used to treat the underlying condition. By sealing off the damaged veins, the body will reroute healthy blood flow into the healthy veins and help heal the lymphatic system.
- Manual Lymph Drainage: Manual lymph drainage refers to a gentle massage technique to manually plush the fluid out of the affected limbs and encourages proper drainage.
- Compression Therapy: Compression garments can be warm to prevent the affected limbs from getting improper drainage. Exercise is often combined with compression therapy to prevent improper drainage further.
- Pneumatic Compression: Pneumatic compression uses a sleeve attached to a pump that fills with air to assist the lymphatic system, and can pump lymphatic fluid back.
With the goal of reducing symptoms long-term, our treatments can provide you with better ways of preventing infection, treating other health conditions, and improving your quality of life. Since this condition can cause significant amounts of discomfort and complications if left untreated. For more information about lymphedema and our treatment options, contact Vein Center of North Texas today.