CONDITIONS

Lymphedema/Leg Swelling

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Is leg swelling interfering with your hobbies and you being able to enjoy daily life?

At Vitality Vein care, we know that leg swelling affects all aspects of life.  Many people who have leg swelling have given up hope that there is help- this is sad and there is help!  Here at VVC, our team of dedicated lymphedema specialists are here to help get your life back.  

Lymphedema, or leg swelling, symptoms can vary widely and range from occasional puffy ankles to panful, persistent swelling, skin that feels too tight, or even blisters and weeping discharge from the legs.  

Lymphedema is often a symptom of a larger issue.  And here at Vitality Vein Care, we are here to help you get better by finding and treating the cause of your lymphedema.

What exactly is the lymphatic system?

Cells in the body need nutrients and oxygen to survive and to remove waste products and carbon dioxide after the nutrients are used by the cells; this is an intricate process.  Blood is delivered to the cells via arteries.  As the arteries get smaller, they turn into vessels called capillaries and the capillaries are what expels the nutrients and oxygen for the cells.

Small veins and lymphatics work in tandem to return the used blood, cellular level fluid and waste back to the vital organs where it is cleansed, and the process is started again.

Why do people get lymphedema?

After the oxygen and nutrients are used by the cells, their byproducts (cellular waste) is picked up by small veins and the lymphatic system.  As long as the balance to create lymph fluid and removal of blood and lymph by the vessels and lymphatics is in unison, everything is fine.  Anything that disturbs this balance can lead to leg swelling or lymphedema.  

Symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • Aching
  • Heaviness
  • Tightening
  • Swelling of the foot, ankle or leg
  • Thick skin
  • Watery Weeping from the legs
  • Recurring infections
  • Unable to move your ankle or leg in all directions

What causes my legs to swell?

In delicate balance, blood and lymphatics flow in the leg.  When in unison, they deliver oxygen and nutrients to the cells and remove waste products and fluid that form on a cellular level.  They also help to fight off infections.  When these systems do not work as intended, the cellular fluid does not get returned to the veins, and fluid builds up.  

What treatments are available?

  • Medical grade, graduated compression hose,
  • Multilayered compression wraps
  • Sequential pneumatic compression device
  • Manual lymphatic drainage massage
  • Lymphedema supplements/medication
  • Correction of underlying venous disease

Your lymphedema team at Vitality Vein Care will consider all these to form your tailored treatment plan.  

Manual lymphatic helps to move excess fluid out of your arms or legs using a special massage technique.  This encourages lymph to move in its proper direction through undamaged lymph channels.  There are some limitations, such as if you have an active skin infection, are prone to blood clots, or if you have active disease in the lymph drainage areas.

Options for compression include multilayered lymphedema wraps, medical grade graduated compression socks, and pneumatic compression sleeves.  The compression encourages better lymph flow and decreases swelling.  Graduated compression means that as you go closer to your body from the end of either the arm or leg, the compression becomes looser.  The pneumatic sleeve is worn on the affected limb for a few hours daily.  IT will connect to a devide that provides air to intermittently inflates the sleeve applying pressure to the limb.  

Exercise encourages lymph drainage and helps with stamina and strength for every day life.  Compression garments that are on during exercise has been shown to help while you gently use the muscles of the affected limb.  The exercise should be gently and focus on specific muscles movements.  

Good skin hygiene is important to maintain skin integrity.  This reduces infections rates in the affected limb.  

Correction of underlying vein disease at Vitality Vein Care can improve your swelling.

What results can I expect to see?

Depending on the cause of your leg swelling, with care and monitoring, your lymphedema can improved.  Once you decide upon a comprehensive lymphedema consultation at Vitality Vein Care, we will perform a detailed history and physical exam and you will undergo an ultrasound.  A customized treatment plan is then presented that will fit your needs, improve your swelling and overall health.  We will not recommend a procedure that you do not need.  You can depend on honest, quality care at VVC.

Is there disruption in my life?

Downtime is limited and will depend on your condition and customized treatment plan.  

If swelling in your legs has slowed you down or has made you uncomfortable, it is time to make an appointment to be evaluated at Vitaltiy Vein Care, your vein and lymphatic health care tean. We are Prosper’s only dedicated comprehensive vein and lymphatic center.

Take the first step- we are looking forward to your call!

At Vitality Vein Care, we have a passion for veins. Our desire is to improve your quality of life and functionality. We are committed to increasing your leg vitality and turning back decades on how your legs feel and look. Call today to schedule an appointment with our team.

One of our vein specialists will guide you through the process to better veins, better you.

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