by Helen McKay
Lymphoedema is a high protein oedema, caused by low output failure of the lymphatic system, resulting in swelling of the limbs, which may be mild or severe.
It may affect one, or several limbs and the abdomen.
Lymphoedema often causes patients to seek medical advice when:
- they have trouble fitting into sleeves, pants legs, or shoes
- they experience swelling and discomfort with watch straps, jewellry,
- they feel heaviness and swelling in their limb(s) (causing mobility problems)
- they suffer from fluid leakage from legs or arms (causing smelly feet and hands).
Lymphoedema is classified as either:
Primary (ideopathic) lymphoedema, which comes in three sub classes, according to age. You are born with this but it may not surface until later in life, or
Secondary lymphoedema, which results from: