One in four of our body weight is made up of lymph fluid.Popularly known as elephantiasis, lymphedema occurs due to accumulation of lymph fluid in the inter cellular tissue resulting in swelling.
This swelling often seen in the hands and feet, severe swelling or a slight swelling. Any disorder of the lymphatic system may cause the accumulation of lymph fluid. These disorders are grouped in two types; innate corrupt or later composed. The risk of later composed lymphedema is higer after surgical procedures (particularly breast surgery), trauma and radiology. Lymphedema may might occur after a short period with the influence of those external factors, yet the most common type is seen months or years after. The greater mass obtained in breast surgery, higher the risk of swelling. While having taken of lymph gland increases the risk swelling, even the biopsy of the lymph node swelling creates the risk factors. Radiotherapy received after surgery is another risk factor. Medics should be warn about not to take blood from the corresponding arm, and not to measure blood pressure. To refrain from lymphedema, patients treated for breast cancer should avoid personally; to carry heavy, sun and heat exposure, to use a razor.
There are four treatment methods, supporting each other, one or more treatment can be applied simultaneously and custom for patient.
Manual drainage method
It is a special massage technique fluid which enables the flow of accumulated lymph to other areas in the body. The massage must be implemented by physiotherapists specialized in lymphedema. Non-expert lymphedema massage carries the risk of causing greater damage besides a risk of not curing a patient.
Special compression bandaging methods
It is the treatment with bandages special for lymphedema. Physical therapy and rehabilitation specialists should apply.
Exercises, personalized for each patient and planned by expert physiotherapists may accelerate the treatment. Exercise should be made with a bandage. The exercises after treatment with the consultation of the physician has a protective effect.
Dryness of skin should be prevented in order to maintain elasticity of the skin and to prevent the occurrence of infection. To prevent skin exfoliation apply twice per day a water-based, oil-free moisturizer cream. The cream should be applied in one direction only from the bottom up. Skin care products and soaps contain chemicals that should not come in contact with the skin.
After the completion of other treatments, garment pressure clothing are used with the appropriate compression. These clothes reduces the volume of swelling arms and legs and allows the lymph circumvolution.