Lymphedema development in the human body

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Lymphedema development in the human body

As known, the function of the lymphatic system is to carry lymph (protein-rich fluid) around the body as it collects harmful microorganisms and waste products. Lymph vessels carry the lymph and other harmful/wasteful substances to the lymph nodes which then gets filtered by lymphocytes (White blood cells). Lymphedema is seen when the lymph vessels aren’t able to drain the lymph efficiently. This is generally seen in limbs as the lymph vessels and/or lymph nodes get blocked and swelling of the body parts occur. The blockage can be due to the lymph fluid in the tissues building up and the swelling takes place as the amount of fluid in the particular area of the body is greater than the lymphatic system’s capacity in order to transport it away. It can progress into a troublesome disorder in time however at first it will seem to come and go. For example in the mornings it may be at minimal stage and during the day time it will become larger. And in time it may become permanent as the area will feel stiff and painful. Build-up of protein and fat along with the lymph fluid.

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Lymphedema can split into two types- primary and secondary. Primary being occurring on its own and secondary lymphedema being caused by another disease or condition. Secondary lymphedema is known to be more common than primary lymphedema. Secondary lymphedema can be caused by any procedure or condition that has a damage on the lymph vessels or lymph nodes. Lymph nodes can get injured during surgery that involves blood vessels in the limbs. Also, lymph nodes may be removed in order to examine the spread of breast cancer.

During radiation treatment for cancer, lymph nodes or lymph vessels can get scarred and ...

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