Lymphedema Questions & Answers

Updated: Jun 04, 2018
  • Author: Kathleen M Rossy, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Questions & Answers

Overview

What is lymphedema?

What are the signs and symptoms of lymphedema?

Which physical findings are characteristic of a patient with lymphedema?

What is the role of lab tests in the evaluation of lymphedema?

What is the role of imaging studies in the diagnosis of lymphedema?

When is biopsy indicated in the evaluation of lymphedema?

What is the goal of therapy for lymphedema?

Which medications are used in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is included in conservative management of managing lymphedema?

What is the role of surgery in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is lymphedema?

How is lymphedema classified?

What is the normal lymphatic physiology relevant to lymphedema?

What is the pathophysiology of lymphedema?

What is the dermatologic pathology of lymphedema?

What is the role of protein composition in the pathophysiology of lymphedema?

What causes lymphedema?

What is primary lymphedema and how is it classified?

What causes congenital lymphedema?

What causes lymphedema praecox?

What causes lymphedema tarda?

Which cutaneous and genetic disorders are associated with primary lymphedema?

What causes secondary lymphedema?

Which conditions are associated with secondary lymphedema?

What is the clinical anatomy of the lymphatic system relevant to lymphedema?

What is the prevalence of lymphedema in the US?

What is the global prevalence of lymphedema?

How does the prevalence of lymphedema vary by sex?

How does the prevalence of lymphedema vary by age?

What is the prognosis of lymphedema?

Presentation

Which clinical history findings are characteristic of primary lymphedema?

Which syndromes and genetic disorders are associated with primary lymphedema?

Which clinical history findings are characteristic of secondary lymphedema?

What are early signs and symptoms of lymphedema?

What are the signs and symptoms of elephantiasis nostra verrucosa (ENV) in patients with lymphedema?

What are signs of cutaneous verruciform xanthomas in patients with lymphedema?

Which physical signs may be present in lymphedema?

DDX

Which conditions should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lymphedema?

What are the differential diagnoses for Lymphedema?

Workup

Which tests are performed in the workup of lymphedema?

What is the role of radiography in the workup of lymphedema?

What is the role of CT scanning and MRI in the workup of lymphedema?

What is the role of ultrasonography in the workup of lymphedema?

What is the role of lymphangiography in the workup of lymphedema?

What is the role of fluorescence microlymphography in the workup of lymphedema?

What is the role of lymphoscintigraphy in the workup of lymphedema?

What is the role of biopsy and histology in lymphedema?

Treatment

What is the focus of treatment for lymphedema?

What is the role of hygiene and skin care in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of physical therapy and compression in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is included in conservative treatment for lymphedema?

What is the role of surgery in the treatment of lymphedema?

What activity modifications are needed in the treatment of lymphedema?

Which specialists should be consulted in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of compression therapy in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of pneumatic pump compression therapy in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of manual lymphatic drainage in the treatment of lymphedema?

How is cellulitis treated in patients with lymphedema?

How is filariasis treated in patients with lymphedema?

What is the role of benzopyrones in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of retinoids in the treatment of lymphedema?

Which topical agents are used in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of surgery in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of physiologic surgery in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is the role of excisional surgery in the treatment of lymphedema?

What is included in preoperative care of lymphedema?

How is surgery performed for removal of lymphedema?

What is included in postoperative care of lymphedema?

What is included in long-term follow-up of patients with lymphedema?

How is lymphedema prevented following breast cancer surgery?

Medications

What is the role of pharmacologic therapies in the treatment of lymphedema?

Which medications in the drug class Antibiotics are used in the treatment of Lymphedema?

Which medications in the drug class Topical Skin Products are used in the treatment of Lymphedema?

Which medications in the drug class Anthelmintics are used in the treatment of Lymphedema?

Which medications in the drug class Retinoid-like Agents are used in the treatment of Lymphedema?