Your lymphatic system is critical to your immune system and consists of a network vessels, tissues, and organs that helps deliver waste materials and foreign matter to your lymph nodes for filtration before returning the fluid to your bloodstream. 

Lymphedema can occur when lymphatic fluid builds up in the soft tissues of the arms and legs. Chronic lymphedema difficult to treat, and swollen limbs may be vulnerable to severe infections from the most minor injury or even athlete’s foot (lymphangitis). 

There are two types of lymphedema:

  • Inherited or primary lymphedema is when a person is are born lacking lymph vessels and nodes. 

  • The more common form is acquired or secondary lymphedema, which is the result of an injury to your lymphatic system 

Two out of every five breast cancer patients will experience lymphedema within five years of treatments.

Symptoms may not develop immediately and can follow up to 15 years or more after an injury to your lymphatic system. 

  • Aching, weakness, redness, heaviness, or tightness in one of your limbs

  • Less flexibility in your wrist or ankle

  • Tight-fitting rings or shoes

Lymphedema can result from the treatment of certain types of cancers where lymph nodes have been surgically removed or radiated (breast and testicular cancers). Other causes of lymphedema include surgery on blood vessels or other surgical procedures, like liposuction, as well as burns.

Prevention is one of the best steps to take if you are at risk for lymphedema. With precaution, mild lymphedema symptoms may be kept from worsening. 

  • Clean affected limb(s) regularly. Dry thoroughly and apply lotion

  • Don’t carry a handbag with an affected arm

  • Don’t cross your legs when sitting

  • Don’t go barefoot

  • If you shave an affected area, use an electric razor

  • Wear gloves while gardening and cooking 


  • Complex Decongestive Therapy –  A combination of treatments, along with lifestyle change

  • Exercise – Special exercises while wearing compressions socks or bandages 

  • External Pump – An external pump to be used to aid in moving fluid through the body

  • Massage –  This can help to stimulate lymphatic drainage manually

  • Medication – Lymphedema cannot be cured with medications, but it may be prescribed to treat associated conditions, such as antibiotics to combat infections

  • Surgery – This option may be recommended to remove excess tissue should a limb becomes so large and heavy that it interferes with the ability to move it


If you are at risk, avoid having injections and blood pressure readings performed on affected limbs. Wear a special necklace or bracelet to notify medical personnel of your condition and its complications

You can depend on the expert team of medical professionals at Vascular Tyler to help you determine your best treatment options, based on your test results. 

For questions or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 903.533.8702.


The Patient Experience

Dr. Robbins looked at my imaging and made an appointment that same day for me to come in. At Vascular Tyler, it’s just like a family environment every time I come in here. If I have to go the doctor’s (office), this is where I want to go.
L. Cunningham, Patient
We don’t want to spend a whole lot of time with rehabilitation or in some sort of medical facility, so it was great discovering that there’s only little or no downtime. It was a matter of hours instead of days or weeks.
B. Finch, Patient
I had excruciating pain and was told I needed a knee replacement. But Dr. Robbins said I just need vascular surgery. They gave me relief from my pain, and they’re kind and interested in you as a patient and a person. This is the place to come.
M. Finch, Patient

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