Vein Specialists of the Carolinas

“All We Do Is Veins, All Day Every Day.”

Lymphedema Is A Type Of Swelling.

  • Due to damaged, dysfunctioning, or overloaded lymphatic vessels.
  • The leg gets bigger with fluid.
    • At first the fluid will go down over night and a finger can push the fluid out of the way (Pitting Edema).
    • Later lots of proteins get deposited in the tissues and they won’t drain easily (Woody edema).
  • The foot may have a buffalo hump on the top.
  • The inside and outside ankle bones and the heel area may have the same hump.
  • The toes may become square shaped.
  • Sometimes swelling is so bad blisters develop or
  • Clear fluid may drain out through the skin (Lymphorhhea).
  • The skin is thickened.
    • In early stages Stemmer’s sign is positive. The skin at the base of the second toe can’t be pinched.
    • In late stages the skin has a crusty cobble stone appearance (Elephantiasis).
  • Patients with lymphedema are at a much higher risk of getting infection in the tissues called cellulitis.
  • Repeated episodes of cellulitis damage the lymphatics even more.
  • Can be inherited.
    • Lymphedema Praecox occurs early in life.
    • Lymphedema Tarda occurs late in life.
  • LYMPH VESSELS are a third type of vessel, in addition to arteries and veins.
  • ARTERIES deliver blood and fluid TO the body’s tissues.
  • VEINS remove the vast majority of it FROM the tissues.
  • LYMPHATICS drain the left over fluid and proteins FROM the tissues.
  • LYMPH NODES are the filters of the lymphatics.
  • The LYMPH VESSELS have one way valves and peristalsis: coordinated muscle contractions in the lymph vessel wall that propel fluid forward, like the intestines do for food.
    Lymphedema, Vein Specialists of the Carolinas
    Lymphedema, Vein Specialists of the Carolinas

    Lymphedema Is Due To:

    Lymphatics damaged by infection.

      Loss of peristalsis or valve function.  

        Lymph nodes removed during surgery.

          Lymphedema, Vein Specialists of the Carolinas

          Lymphedema also occurs when the VEINS can’t empty well. The lymphatics get overloaded. This is called Phlebolymphedema. Treating the veins helps Phlebolymphedema.

          Compression Garments – we carry the full line of Sigvaris compression garments.

          Wedge pillow correctly elevates your legs  above the trunk and heart.

          Complete Decongestive Therapy – specialized physical therapy that uses massage and wrapping.

          Even if the underlying cause of the swelling cannot be found or corrected, there are lots of Treatment Tools.

          Compression wraps – We carry CompreFit from Sigvaris and Circ-Aid from Medi.

          Adjustable bed overnight elevation of legs can work wonders.   

          Lymphedema pumps – we recommend The Flexitouch pump and the Biotab pump.

          Tactile Medical Flexitouch Pump for Lymphedema

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          CHARLOTTE, NC



          Mon.-Thurs.: 7:30am - 4:30pm
          Friday: 7:30am-12:30pm


          15825 Ballantyne Medical Place,
          Ste. 240
          Charlotte, North Carolina 28277

          Vein Specialists of the Carolinas Rated Best of Charlotte Vein Specialists

          GASTONIA, NC



          Mon.-Thurs.: 7:30am - 4:30pm
          Friday: 7:30am-12:30pm


          860 Summit Crossing Place,
          Ste. 120
          Gastonia, North Carolina 28054

          Vein Specialists of the Carolinas Gastonia Location

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