Gary Maytham MPhil FRCS
Consultant Vascular & Endovascular Surgeon

Lymphoedema

Lymphoedema occurs when a limb or limbs swell up due to the failure of drainage of lymph.

Lymphoedema

Symptoms of Lymphoedema

Lymph is fluid that is collected from between the cells, which drains into small tubes (lymph capillaries) which drain into lymphatics. These are similar to blood vessels, but smaller.

Any disruption of this lymphatic system may lead to lymphoedema, with significant swelling of the limb or limbs. This may be hereditary (Primary lymphoedema) or due to damage to the lymphatics (secondary).

Treatment of Lymphoedema

Thorough investigation of people presenting with symptoms in keeping with lymphoedema is important, as the symptoms may be due to other conditions. Furthermore, lymphoedema and other conditions may co-exist.

Treatment of these other disorders may improve the leg swelling.