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  • Causes - Understanding the lymphatic system - Symptoms - Stages of Lymphedema



    Lymphedema can affect any part of the body, but most commonly affects the arms or legs. Symptoms are:

    • Swelling in the arm or leg
    • Onset may be slow or rapid   
    • Progressive
    • Pitting (when an indentation is left in the skin when pressed by your thumb) 
    • Most often starts in hands and feets
    • Tightness or temperature changes to areas of the body; clothing, jewelry or shoes may feel tighter
    • Limitation of movement
    • A heavy or tight feeling in the affected area


    If you think you may be experiencing these symptoms, or are unsure whether you have lymphedema or not, contact your local physician. If you are diagnosed with lymphedema, your physician will connect you with a certified lymphedema therapist, who will play a key role in developing a successful therapy plan with you. If you are looking for more information on the condition and diagnosis of lymphedema, sites like the Lymphedema Education and Research Network (LE&RN) and the National Lymphedema Network (NLN) will help get you off to the right start.