What is LymphEd?
LymphEd was founded in 2017 by Dr. Shelley Smith DiCecco, PT, PhD, CLT-LANA, CI-CS. LymphEd’s mission is to provide education and resources on lymphedema to medical professionals, those with lymphedema, and others interested in lymphedema. As LymphEd grows, it will incorporate multiple platforms for delivery of materials, including courses, papers, videos, and interactive communication through blogs and Facebook. Our goal is to provide up-to-date information on the lymphatic system, lymphedema, treatment options for lymphedema, and available resources. Please visit our resources page to learn more about lymphedema and treatment options. To keep the material fresh, this site will continually be changing, so check back often for updates.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is the abnormal buildup of protein-rich fluid in the tissues. Lymphedema is the result of a malfunction in the lymphatic system. The dysfunction could be with the lymph vessels or with the lymph nodes.
There are 2 main categories of lymphedema, Primary and Secondary:
- Primary lymphedema is when the person is born with a lymphatic dysfunction. Primary lymphedema may be present at birth, may develop at puberty, or may begin to show signs in adulthood. Primary lymphedema usually involves both legs and affects women more than men.
- Secondary lymphedema is the result of damage to or removal of a section of the lymphatic system. The actual swelling may not appear for months or even years. Cancer and the related treatments for cancer are a common cause of secondary lymphedema in the United States.