‘Lymphedema / Elephant foot disease’ is a medical condition causing huge swelling of any part of your body (legs or arms) due to excess build-up of fluid beneath skin.
|Why does it happen?|
|In our body, like blood circulation system there is one more system called ‘Lymphatic system’.
Basic function of lymphatic system is removal of proteins & water from different body parts & return it to blood circulation.
If the lymphatic vessels/nodes are damaged, it can lead to accumulation of protein + water in that particular body part causing large swelling (Lymphedema).
|Who can develop lymphedema? What are the causes?|
|Basically there are two types:
|What are the symptoms / clinical presentation?|
|What if untreated?|
|May get complicated by
|Goal of the treatment?|
|First - To reduce the swelling with help of remaining healthy lymph vessels.
Second - Once the swelling is decreased, we need to maintain the reduction and prevent re-accumulation of lymph fluid.
|How it’s treated?|
|The ideal treatment is Combined Decongestive Therapy(CDT).It has three components.
1. Manual lymph drainage (MLD) Foot & leg massage + Lympha-press therapy
Lymphedema press treatment
3. Compression therapy-Compression stockings/devices
|Is there a role of surgery?|
|Very limited role. Results are not promising with surgery.|
|Can swelling develop again?|
|Even after successful treatment, the body part affected by lymphedema is at risk for re-accumulation of fluid and it requires life - long care.|
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