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Lymphedema diagnosis


How is the diagnosis?

The diagnosis is usually made assuming medical history - known family history of lymphedema or other disease as the cause of lymphoedema. Lymphedema that develops over a long period of time, normally have a benign cause. Lymphedema, however, that is developing quickly, especially if it is only an arm or a leg, may be due to a cancer.

Primary lymphedema is typically more widespread and involve both sides - both legs, both arms. Often, accumulating large amounts of edema in the secondary form. Localization of primary lymphoedema varies with the cause. Congenital lymphedema will often frame one or both legs, but the condition can also include an arm or even the face. Lymphoedema praecox is usually limited to the legs (especially the foot and lower leg).

lymphedema differential diagnosis

Secondary lymphedema occurs typically in an arm or a leg and is usually unilateral. The condition occurs typically after lymph node removal in the armpit or groin. The swelling may merely be visible only in the upper arm / leg, or it can occur only in the outer part of the arm / leg, including fingers or toes. After breast cancer, surgery may include swelling of the same side of the breast or chest wall. At relapse, revived complaints, or in cases where it proves difficult to achieve the effect of treatment must always consider whether there is any recurrence of cancer. The condition usually develops slowly. Initially, the edema is soft and when you press it, higher "fingerprint" visible. Later, the skin becomes dry and firm; it becomes less pliable and feels stiffer to feel.

At the onset of edema of an arm or a leg, physicians should evaluate what the cause might be, if, for example, may be a tumor. In this context, it may be necessary to do ultrasound or CT. Lyme Angio scintigraphy sometimes used as a supplementary examination. This is a study in which sprayed a substance into the lymph vessels, such as being able to produce these images.

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