Your lymphatic system fights infections, removes waste, and keeps your body fluids balanced — but when it malfunctions, you could retain fluid and develop lymphedema. The leading lymphatic system experts at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, with offices in Bel Air, Baltimore, Towson, Westminster, Elkton, Frederick, Ellicott City, Hampstead, Abingdon, Columbia, Lutherville, Maryland, and Newark, DE can diagnose lymphedema and treat your symptoms. If you have leg swelling or other lymphedema symptoms, book your appointment online or call the office in your area for help today.
Lymphedema is a condition that happens when your lymph fluid builds up in one area rather than circulating throughout your body as usual. Lymphedema often occurs in the legs or arms, so the most common indicator of this condition is leg swelling.
In addition to prominent swelling, usually in your legs, you may also experience:
Usually, these symptoms appear in only one leg, but they can occasionally affect both legs.
Lymphedema develops because of a blockage within, or damage to, your lymph nodes. This blockage or damage inhibits normal drainage, so your lymph fluid can't move back into your blood as usual. As the lymph fluid collects, it leads to the characteristic swelling.
Secondary lymphedema, which is more common, typically develops because of:
Lymphedema can develop as soon as a few days after radiation therapy. 95% of post-surgery lymphedema cases develop within three years of surgery.
Inherited lymphedema, or primary lymphedema, is rare. Although you may have it from birth, symptoms might not appear until puberty or adulthood.
The team at Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, performs a careful assessment to diagnose your lymphedema. Symptoms of lymphedema, including leg swelling, often occur with a vascular disease as well.
For this reason, the team performs tests such as Doppler ultrasound imaging and lymphatic system imaging to determine the cause of your issues.
Lymphedema symptoms often respond to a combination treatment approach. Although there's no cure, several measures can greatly increase your comfort and improve your quality of life. These may include:
If you're worried about lymphedema, the Vascular Surgery Associates, LLC, team is here to help. Book your appointment by calling the office in your area or scheduling online today.