What You Should Know About Lymphedema

Ruling out more serious conditions in your legs


Not all swelling and pain in your legs is caused by a vein problem. The swelling (edema) could be an indication of fluid collecting in your lymph nodes. This condition is called lymphedema.

lymphatic system, lymph to vein

When lymph nodes are healthy, fluid flows freely through the lymphatic capillaries to the veins.

Primary lymphedema, more common in females, is a hereditary disorder caused by mutated genes that interfere with the way the lymphatic system develops. Secondary lymphedema can occur after having lymph nodes removed, after radiation therapy, after taking medications such as tamoxifen or following an injury to the lymph nodes. In some cases, untreated vein disease—including varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis—can result in lymphedema.

If you are experiencing any tightness or swelling in your leg, ankle or foot, do not ignore these symptoms. Let your doctor know immediately so you can get accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

At The Vein Center at Wilmington Surgical Associates, we have the expertise and experience to detect the underlying cause of any discomfort you are having in your legs and can prescribe the most effective treatment for your specific problem. If you are suffering from lymphedema, treatment may include prescription compression stockings, gentle exercise, physical therapy or massage.

To learn more about our comprehensive leg screenings and make an appointment, please call us at (910) 787-1007. Or contact us via our online form. You can also schedule an appointment online.