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What is Lymphedema?

What is Lymphedema?

Posted on September 29, 2016 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

Vein disease is often associated with lymphatic disease, which is one of the reasons the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine was formed. This association comes, in part, from the prevalence of leg swelling as a symptom. 

The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system which has a great impact on the immune system. It is made up of a network of vessels that carry a fluid called “lymph” toward the heart. This “lymph” is leftover, filtered blood which has not been reabsorbed directly into the blood vessels. It contains particles like lymphocytes and white blood cells which are very important to a healthy immune system. 

edema.jpgLymphedema, or lymphatic obstruction, is a condition that occurs when there is a blockage within the lymphatic system preventing fluids from being returned to the heart. This causes increased pressure and the collection of excess lymphatic fluids in the fatty tissues beneath the skin. If untreated, this pressure leads to swelling, often in the legs. This condition has a number of causes, but like varicose veins, it is mostly hereditary. 

Because the main symptom of lymphedema is so similar to symptoms of varicose vein disease, many vein doctors see patients who might not know which problem they are experiencing. Thankfully, vein experts like the physicians at Illinois Vein Specialists understand the importance of conducting a Doppler Duplex Ultrasound examination during a patient’s initial consultation to determine the source of the symptoms. 


Interested in Learning More about Vein Disease? Click Below!

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At Illinois Vein Specialists, we care just as much about the medicine and the specialized practice of Phlebology (the treatment of vein and lymphatic disease) as we do our patients. We focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Glenview, Northbrook, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. We even have patients from Alaska to Sienna, Italy and Texas to Connecticut.

We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins — find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic physician — Find a Doctor You can Trust!

Tagged Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor, lymphatic obstruction