Lymphedema Definition

Lymphedema (also spelled lymphadema): This is what can occur when lymphatic circulation is not functioning properly. It can result in lymph fluid accumulating in the legs, arms, or abdomen. Lymphedema will most commonly result in swelling in the affected arms or legs. There might also be a feeling of "pins and needles" or "heaviness" as well as loss of motion and/or pain. Lymphedema is either primary or secondary, depending on its cause. If a person is born with this condition, then it is considered to be primary lymphedema, even if it does not occur until adolescence or adulthood. If it is caused by trauma to the lymph system, which disrupts the normal flow of lymph fluid, then it is considered to be secondary lymphedema. This latter type of lymphedema is most often a result of surgery in which lymph nodes or a large amount of lymph tissue is removed, though there are other causes as well, such as radiation treatment, chemotherapy or some other type of trauma.

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