Chronic edema is caused by lymphatic impairment due to either overload of interstitial fluid or anatomic/functional lymphatic failure in any part of the body. Lymphatics play a crucial role in interstitial homeostasis, immune surveillance and fat absorption in the gut. Lymphedema is a clinical sign with swelling and not a diagnosis. In the latter stages inflammatory processes lead to fat formation and fibrosis. Untreated lymphedema has an increased risk for erysipelas, physical dysfunction and tends to worsen. Obesity and reduced physical activity are the main influenceable risk factors after oncological treatments in patients with impaired lymphatics. Prior to a multidisciplinary treatment program, a proper diagnosis with health profile is made. Treatment exists of two phases: an initial treatment phase and a maintenance phase in which the focus is on compression, self-management, exercise, minimizing risk factors and creating a healthy lifestyle. Clinimetrics are important for monitoring in both phases.
|Translated title of the contribution||Diagnosis and treatment of primary and secondary lymphedema|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 24 Mar 2022|
- chronic diseases
- lymphatic vessels