Lymphatic System

Lymphatic Vessels and Organs

What condition occurs when there is blockage of the lymphatic drainage from a limb?

Lymphedema is the result of blockage of the lymphatic drainage from a limb. Interstitial fluids accumulate and the limb becomes gradually more swollen. Lymphedema may be temporary or may become chronic due to scar tissue forming or repeated bacterial infections. One of the most common causes of lymphedema is treatment for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and testicular cancer. When lymph nodes are removed there is always a risk of developing lymphedema. Surgery or other cuts to lymphatic tissue may also cause chronic lymphedema. Elephantiasis is a form of chronic lymphedema.


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