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Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the tissues. It is a chronic medical condition that causes inflammation and fibrosis. It is most often seen in the arms and legs. It happens when lymph builds up in your body’s soft tissues. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells that defend against germs. It can build up when the lymph system is damaged or blocked.
Lymphedema is diagnosed through medical history or physical exams of the leg or arm, as well as additional testing, which may include a CT scan.
Lymphedema treatment is by Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). This includes:
- Skin and nail care
- Manual lymph drainage
- Compression systems – bandages and garments
- Movement and exercise
- Instruction in Self-Care
Specialized Vein Care staff will coordinate care and resources throughout the complete decongestive therapy process.