Lymphedema in your arm or leg can lead to serious complications, such as: Infections. Possible infections that can result from lymphedema include a serious bacterial infection of the skin (cellulitis) and an infection of the lymph vessels (lymphangitis).
Can you die from lymphedema?
Although lymphedema can strike anyone at any age, most cases are the result of cancer or cancer treatment. Over time untreated lymphedema can lead to disfigurement, disability, and even death.
Can lymphatic fluid be drained?
Lymph fluid normally drains from body tissues through the lymph nodes and lymph channels. If some lymph nodes and channels are removed or damaged during surgery, lymph fluid may not drain properly and can collect in the tissues near the surgical site.
What is the life expectancy of someone with lymphedema?
When the duration of illness is prolonged, the lymphedema may develop into lymphangiosarcoma. The life expectancy of a patient with this condition is limited to a few months to 2 years , .
Is lymphedema life threatening?
For those suffering from lymphedema, the swelling is caused by an impaired lymphatic system. Left untreated, lymphedema can seriously damage your health and even be life threatening.
Is lymphedema a form of cancer?
Lymphedema occurs when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. Fluid builds up in soft body tissues and causes swelling. It is a common problem that may be caused by cancer and cancer treatment. Lymphedema usually affects an arm or leg, but it can also affect other parts of the body.
What triggers lymphedema?
Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. It results from a blockage in your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup leads to swelling.
What happens if tissue fluid is not drained?
If the lymphatic system didn’t drain the excess fluid from the tissues, the lymph fluid would build up in the body’s tissues, and they would swell. Absorption of fatty acids and subsequent transport of fat, chyle, to the circulatory system.
What does lymphatic drainage feel like?
Lymphatic drainage can leave you feeling exhausted. You may want to have a lie down, or at the very least, a very undemanding schedule for the rest of the day. Give your body time to ease back into activity. Lymphatic drainage massage may also leave you really thirsty.
Can you live a long life with lymphedema?
The 5-year survival rate for lymphangiosarcoma is less than 10%, with the average survival following diagnosis being 19 months. This malignant degeneration is most commonly observed in patients with postmastectomy lymphedema (Stewart-Treves syndrome), in whom the incidence is estimated to be 0.5%.
Does drinking water help lymphedema?
Does drinking water help with lymphedema? Absolutely! Because the body is more prone to hold onto excess liquid when it feels dehydrated, drinking enough water is especially important for those with lymphedema so they can maintain a healthy fluid and chemical balance.
What are the four stages of lymphedema?
- Stage 1: Abnormal flow in the lymphatic system. No signs or symptoms.
- Stage 2: Accumulation of fluid with swelling. …
- Stage 3: Permanent swelling that does not resolve with elevation. …
- Stage 4: Elephantiasis (large deformed limb), skin thickening with “wart-like” growth and extensive scarring.
Can lymphedema affect your heart?
Excess fat can press down on superficial lymphatic vessels and nodes, decrease lymphatic drainage and cause swelling. Keeping a healthy weight is part of treatment for lymphedema. Cardiac impairments: This happens especially in cases of congestive heart failure. The lymphatic ducts empty lymph back into the heart.
What should you not do with lymphedema?
Avoid trauma or injury to the affected area. Avoid heavy lifting with the affected arm. No new tattoos in the affected area. Do not wear tight clothing, bands, shoes, or jewelry on the affected area.
Does walking help lymphedema?
It works your muscles, which increases the flow of lymph fluid and helps move it away from the swollen area. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce lymphoedema swelling.