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What Is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema refers to the swelling of tissue caused by the build-up of lymph fluid in specific parts of your body. Lymphedema is frequently diagnosed in the arms and legs, but often occurs in the chest walls, neck, abdomen / trunk and genital areas.

Your lymphatic system is crucial to maintaining a healthy body. It continually circulates lymph fluid throughout your body while collecting bacteria, viruses, and related waste products. The lymphatic system then carries this fluid, together with these collected, harmful substances, to your lymph nodes through the system’s lymph vessels. Upon reaching the lymph nodes, the wastes are filtered out and ultimately flushed from your body.

Lymphedema occurs when your lymph nodes and vessels are unable to adequately filter the lymph fluid. Think about it this way; lymph nodes act like the “drain” in your sink; if collected fluid becomes clogged and cannot be filtered there is a problem. When this happens, swelling in arm, leg, chest, neck, abdomen / trunk, and genital areas can occur.

Lymphedema often occurs after breast cancer surgery. It can happen at any time, immediately after or even ten or more years after surgery. TCP compression pumps are designed for and quite effectively treat this condition in the privacy and comfort of your home.

How does a person gets Lymphedema?


There are two types of Lymphedema;

(1) Primary, rare, and often hereditarily based; and
(2) Secondary, often caused by the outside factors described and discussed below:

Several things may cause lymphedema, including:

  • Breast cancer surgery: Sometimes, breast cancer surgery includes removing lymph nodes under your arms and possibly damaging nearby lymph vessels.
  • Pelvic surgery: Surgery to remove pelvic lymph nodes may cause lymphedema.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy may cause scarring and damage to your lymphatic system, inflaming your skin and placing pressure on your lymphatic circulation system.
  • Trauma: Your lymphatic system is a rich network of vessels that are directly under your skin, as well as deep. Sometimes, trauma to an area of your body may damage lymphatic vessels under your skin, causing lymphedema.
  • Infection: An infection may increase lymphatic system damage.
  • Having obesity: People who have obesity may have excess fat (adipose tissue) that puts pressure on lymph nodes and vessels. That extra pressure may affect lymphatic drainage.
  • Lack of activity: Your leg muscles pump up lymphatic circulation. If you’re not active, you may have swelling in your legs.
  • Tumors: Tumors may block lymphatic drainage.
  • Heart conditions: People who have heart issues, particularly congestive heart failure, may develop lymphedema. Your lymphatic ducts empty lymph back into your heart. If your heart isn’t working as well as it should, you may notice you’re gaining weight or your legs are swollen.
  • Blood vessel issues: Your blood vessels carry between 80% and 90% of fluid throughout your body. When something affects your blood vessels (vascular system), you may develop chronic blood vessel issues. Chronic blood vessel issues may cause lymphedema.
  • Kidney disease: Your kidneys work to remove extra fluid and waste products from your body. If your kidneys don’t function as they should, your body may have trouble removing fluid. Excess fluid may cause swelling that leads to lymphedema.

As a result of one or more of the above conditions, lymphedema, due to the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes, is likely.

Your lymphatic system is an important part of your immune system. It is important to keep it healthy.

There is presently no cure for lymphedema but it can be effectively managed with early diagnosis, diligent care of the affected limb or area, and a TCP Compression Device.