Lymphedema Rehabilitation Clinic Wittlinger

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is the name for an observable accumulation of fluid in interstitial spaces (between cells) that is caused by mechanical insufficiency(disturbance) of the lymphatic system.

This results in an incapacity of the lymphatic system to drain a sufficient volume of fluid, leading to a back-up which is referred to as “lymphedema”.

What are the reasons of a lymphedema?

In many cases, minor and/or major lymphatic vessels are disrupted by surgery, injury, radiotherapy or infection.

As a result of the damage to the lymphatic system, the remaining vessels are no longer capable of draining the fluid accumulating in tissue, and lymphedema develops.

The most common cause for secondary lymphedema in the Western world is cancer surgery involving removal and/or radiotherapy of the lymph nodes.

The probability of edema occurring decreases continually following surgery, provided that the patient takes steps to avoid it. This means that patients absolutely must give the highest priority to preventing lymphedema. Sometimes edema does not occur immediately after cancer treatment, but several months or even years later, despite the necessary precautions being taken; a medical specialist should be consulted in such cases to rule out the growth of any new tumors.

The following pages will provide you with detailed information about the various types of lymphedema and lipedema, as well as the treatment options in each case. 

On the following pages you will find detailed information about the different types of edema:

arm lymphedema
leg lymphedema
primary lymphedema
head lymphedema