For the most part, lymphedema of legs or leg lymphedema, as it is most often called, was thought to be due to heredity. Nonetheless, there are other causes. With surgeries for different types of cancers resulting in more cures, there is an increase in lymphedema.
Prostate, ovarian, lung, abdominal and liver cancer surgeries can result in swelling if the removal of lymph nodes in the lower body is performed. Other treatments can cause protein levels to decrease and this, in turn results in fluid leaking into the legs. Swelling may occur only in the ankles and feet or it can be in the calf or thighs.
Lymphedema pumps, which are considered a breakthrough in treating this disorder, have been quite beneficial. Lymphedema of legs can be treated by placing the sleeve over the leg. The sleeve, which is similar to a bandage, inflates and deflates and forces the accumulated fluid to return to the lymph system. This is comparable to the normal function of the lymphatic system.
This treatment can be used once or twice daily for relief from swelling, pain and discomfort associated with lymphedema. The great thing about using a lymphedema pump is that it can be used in the comfort of your home. This eliminates the need to travel to a specialist two or three times a week or more. The lymphedema pump is even portable, so it may be taken with you – wherever you need to go.
Lymphedema of legs can be even more dangerous if left untreated. The build-up of fluid can cause sores to form that will not heal. The possibility of gangrene is present. This could result in amputation of the leg. It is imperative that the lymphatic system removes this fluid and flushes it back into the lymphatic system.
Millions of people suffer from this disorder. Although research has been and continues to be ongoing, there is not a cure for lymphedema yet. The development of the lymphedema pump is an exciting breakthrough for people suffering from this ailment. It has been crucial in managing this condition. Patients have experienced relief from the pain and are able to do things they could not.
Simply walking from one room to another is difficult for those with lymphedema of legs. They often are not able to dress themselves, go to the grocery store or perform the tasks that most people take for granted. The pain is often so intense that they need pain medication. Affecting the normal, everyday tasks that are part of their lifestyle, this is a condition that is not only painful and uncomfortable, but it can be very stressful.
Lymphedema of legs generally affect both men and women. Men who have had prostate surgery or women who have had surgery for cervical cancer are more at risk. There is not a time limit for developing this problem. It can occur immediately after surgery or 20 years later.
Being aware of the symptoms and staying apprised of treatments that can be effective at controlling lymphedema of legs is the most important thing. The earlier it is detected, the more successful the management of the symptoms.