Fox Valley Vein Centers
Venous and Lymphatic Medicine located in Sandwich, Yorkville, and Plainfield, IL
Lymphedema is a condition for which there is no cure, but with the right treatment protocol, you can manage your symptoms and keep the swelling under control. James Hawkins, DO, and the team at Fox Valley Vein Centers are skilled at helping patients with lymphedema manage their symptoms so they can achieve optimal health and wellness. With locations in Sandwich, Yorkville, and Aurora, Illinois, there’s bound to be an office within reach. If you’d like help managing lymphedema symptoms, call the office nearest you, or schedule an appointment online.
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a condition in which part of your body — typically your arms or legs — swell up as a result of lymph buildup in your soft tissues. Lymph is a fluid in your body that is made up of white blood cells whose job is to fight disease. When your lymphatic system is damaged or blocked in some way, lymph can collect in your extremities, causing them to swell.
What causes lymphedema?
Some of the most common causes of lymphedema include:
- Cancer that blocks lymph flow
- Scar tissue after radiation therapy
- Surgical removal of lymph nodes
- Health conditions in which your lymph nodes don’t function properly
When lymphedema occurs by itself, it’s called primary lymphedema, but when it’s the result of another disease or condition, it’s known as secondary lymphedema, which is more common.
Who is at risk for developing lymphedema?
If you’ve had cancer treatments or other surgical procedures, you could be at risk of developing lymphedema. Aging, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis are also contributing risk factors.
How can you prevent lymphedema?
It’s possible to prevent lymphedema, especially when you’re aware that cancer treatments or surgeries can affect your lymph nodes.
After being subjected to a treatment or procedure, be sure to protect the affected arm or leg from injury. You should also rest your limb while you recover from surgery and avoid strenuous activity. Protect your arm or leg from extreme temperatures, elevate it whenever possible, and avoid wearing constricting clothing.
How is lymphedema treated?
Since it’s not possible to repair existing damage to your lymphatic system, treatment options focus on controlling the swelling and other lymphedema symptoms. Your treatments may include any of the following:
- Wearing special compression garments
- Getting regular exercise
- Bandaging the area
- Having a specific skin care routine
- Losing weight
- Laser therapy
- Massage therapy
Since every case is different, the physicians at Fox Valley Vein Centers consider your specific symptoms and the cause of your lymphedema when suggesting treatment options. They create a plan that works with your lifestyle to effectively manage your swelling and help you achieve the best possible overall health and well-being.
If you have lymphedema, learn about your treatment options by calling the nearest office or booking an appointment online.