Two main types of Lymphedema
Primary Lymphedema: The lymphatic system may be abnormal from birth. When a lymphatic system of this type is no longer able to cope with the demands placed on it, sooner or later during that person's life, primary lymphedema develops. It is called 'primary' because the cause of the impairement is to be found in the structure of the lymphatic system itself.
Secondary Lymphedema: Here the lymphatic system is fully adequate and functions perfectly until it is damaged. Examples of ways your lymphatic system could be damaged are: surgery, cancer surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, deep tissue injuries due to burns or trauma.
Other forms of edema which should not be forgotten are:
Lipedema: Painful, chronic disorder which results in the accumulation of fatty tissue in the legs and sometimes in the arms.
Lipedema can progress to develop an edematous component.
Lipolymphedema: When lipedema progresses and damages lymphatic flow, creating a secondary lymphedema component.
Phlebolymphedema: A condition of mixed venous and lymphatic insufficiency.