Lymph vessels carry protein rich lymphatic fluid from tissues. Protein rich lymph accumulates in tissues due to the insufficient operation of lymph vessels. Chronic lymph stasis may develop swelling in the limbs, thickening of connective tissue, limitation of motion, inflammatory skin diseases, erysipelas, skin tumor or elephant foot.
According to root causes of lymphoedema the types below can be differentiated:
- primer lymphoedema: congenital lymphatic disorders,
- secunder lymphoedema: removal of lymphatic knots or vessels for different reasons e.g. injuries caused by inflammation, trauma, tumor, radiation therapy. Most commonly, breast cancer or radiation therapy result in a lymphatic knot removal.
Treatment for lymphoedema
Compression stockings may only be worn after physical therapy treatment (manual lymphatic massage, therapeutic gymnastics).