Lymphedema

If you have had lymph nodes removed during cancer surgery, you may be at risk for developing lymphedema. At Wake Forest Baptist Health, our vascular team provides comprehensive treatment to help manage and improve your condition. 

We offer techniques to reduce your pain and swelling. We help you understand how to monitor, maintain and improve your condition through a treatment plan. 

What is Lymphedema? 

Lymphedema is swelling in one or both of your arms or legs. It happens when there is a blockage in your lymphatic system, part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymphatic fluid from draining, which causes the swelling. 

The causes of lymphedema include: 

  • Infection 
  • Cancer 
  • Scar tissue from radiation therapy or surgical removal of lymph nodes 
  • Inherited conditions in which lymph nodes or vessels are absent or abnormal at birth 

Symptoms of Lymphedema 

Many people who have lymphedema don’t develop symptoms until 15 or more years after an injury to the lymphatic system. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, including your fingers or toes 
  • Aching, weakness, redness, heaviness, or tightness in your arms or legs 
  • Less flexibility in your wrists, hands or ankles 
  • Recurring infections in your affected limb 
  • Hardening and thickening of the skin on your arm or leg 

Diagnosing Lymphedema 

At Wake Forest Baptist, we use several tools to diagnose angina and carotid artery disease. Your physician may recommend any of the following for angina: 

Learn more about heart and vascular diagnosis at Wake Forest. 

Treating Lymphedema at Wake Forest Baptist 

There is no cure for lymphedema. However, we will work with you to develop a personalized management plan to reduce your swelling and control your pain. Treatments may include: 

  • Exercise program 
  • Compression therapy 
  • Lymph drainage through massage 

Contact Us 

Request an appointment online. Or, for more information, please call: 

  • 336-716-WAKE or 
  • 888-716-WAKE (toll-free)

 

Quick Reference

Heart & Vascular Center
New Patients

Local 336-716-WAKE
Toll-free 888-716-WAKE

Returning Patients

Vascular 336-716-4151
Heart 336-716-6674

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Last Updated: 05-27-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.