3 Types Of Lymphedema

Mar 15, 2018

3 Types Of Lymphedema

Sore, aching, and even a slight amount of swelling in your legs is one thing if you’ve just run a marathon or ultra-marathon. However, if you or your child are experiencing frequent and chronic swelling, pain, or discomfort in one— or both, in some cases—  of your arms or legs, then it may be caused by a condition called lymphedema.

What’s Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a condition that is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system— a part of your immune system. When a blockage occurs, it prevents the lymph fluid from properly draining which causes it to build up and results in swelling.

Although lymphedema is typically caused by patients who have recently had their lymph nodes removed or damaged as a part of cancer treatment, there are other forms of lymphedema as well. Let’s take a closer look.

Congenital Lymphedema

This form of lymphedema accounts for around 20% of all primary cases of lymphedema. Typically more common in females than males, patients with congenital lymphedema exhibit symptoms at birth.

Lymphedema Praecox

Similar to congenital lymphedema, lymphedema praecox is more common in females than in males. In fact, it is four times more common in females. This form of lymphedema typically develops during puberty, but patients can start to exhibit symptoms after birth and up until the age of 35.

Lymphedema Tarda

This form of lymphedema typically inflicts patients who are middle-aged— generally over the age of 35 years old. Similar to other forms of lymphedema, lymphedema tarda most commonly affects females.

Although there is no current cure for lymphedema, with early diagnosis and treatment, it can be easily managed. If you or your loved one are suffering from lymphedema, schedule a consultation with Dr. Heeringa at Northern Michigan Vein Specialists today.

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