Diagnostiek en behandeling van primair en secundair lymfoedeem: Nederlands

Translated title of the contribution: Diagnosis and treatment of primary and secondary lymphedema

Robert J Damstra, Ad A Hendrickx, Kirsten van Duinen, Pieter Klinkert, Janine L Dickinson-Blok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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 contributionDiagnosis and treatment of primary and secondary lymphedema
Original languageDutch
Number of pages17
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • chronic diseases
  • edema
  • complications
  • fibrosis
  • lymphatic vessels
  • diagnosis
  • lymphedema


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