If your legs and feet regularly appear swollen, lymphedema may be to blame. Although there’s no cure for lymphedema, it’s possible to manage with early diagnosis and treatment. At Memphis Vein Center in Memphis, Tennessee, board-certified cardiologist Kishore Arcot, MD, FACC, FSCAI, FSVM, RPVI, and the caring team regularly treat people experiencing lymphedema. To schedule your appointment, call or book online today.
Lymphedema refers to swelling in your arms or legs. Usually, lymphedema occurs due to damage or removal of the lymph nodes. If your lymphatic system becomes blocked, fluid can’t drain properly. Over time, this excess buildup of fluid causes swelling.
Common symptoms of lymphedema include:
As lymphedema becomes worse, it can also cause your skin to harden and thicken, a condition known as fibrosis.
At Memphis Vein Center, Dr. Arcot treats both primary and secondary lymphedema.
Primary lymphedema occurs suddenly without any warning. It negatively affects your lymphatic vessels, preventing the drainage of fluid. Some common causes of primary lymphedema include Milroy’s disease, Meige disease, and late-onset lymphedema.
Secondary lymphedema occurs due to a disease or an underlying medical condition. Some common causes of secondary lymphedema include surgery, cancer, radiation treatment for cancer, and infection.
To diagnose lymphedema, Dr. Arcot conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms.
If the cause of your lymphedema isn’t obvious, Dr. Arcot orders an MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound. These diagnostic procedures produce images of the structures inside your body. They can also help detect blockages in your lymphatic system.
Treatment for lymphedema depends on the underlying cause and severity of your symptoms. The goal of treatment is to limit pain, reduce swelling, and improve mobility.
Dr. Arcot might recommend exercising regularly, wearing compression garments, or getting a massage. Manual lymph drainage is a hands-on treatment technique that encourages the flow of lymph fluid out of your arm or leg.
If your lymphedema is severe and doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, surgery to remove excess tissue in your arm or leg may be necessary.
To achieve the best possible results from lymphedema treatment, follow Dr. Arcot’s instructions carefully. Make sure to attend all of your follow-up appointments, take any medications as prescribed, and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
To explore your treatment options for lymphedema, schedule an appointment at Memphis Vein Center. Call or book online today.