Lymphatic edema of the lower extremities

Lymphostasis - congenital or acquireda disease associated with a violation of lymph drainage from the lymphatic capillaries and peripheral lymphatic vessels of the limbs and other organs to the main lymphatic collectors (lymph nodes) and the thoracic duct. This is a swelling of the tissues caused by a violation of the outflow of the lymphatic fluid. The latter is a component that is produced in tissues (some of the fluid from the tissues is evacuated through the veins and through the lymphatic system). Lymphedema or chronic lymphatic edema is a consequence of a chronic disease of the lymphatic system, leading to a disturbance in the outflow of lymph and an increase in the size of the affected organ. Possible forms such as lymphostasis of the feet - feet, legs; lymphostasis of the breast, abdominal cavity and even veins.


Clinical manifestations of this diseaseare: edema of the upper or lower extremities, disruption of the nutrition of the skin, the appearance of trophic disorders on the skin. The lower and upper extremities are most often affected, the sex organs are more rare. Sometimes the disease takes a generalized character. In children, lymphostasis develops, as a rule, as a result of congenital malformation of lymphatic vessels. In adults, the main causes of lymphedema are infectious (streptococcal infection that causes erysipelas) and parasitic diseases (filarias, toxoplasma, etc.), the consequences of various injuries or surgical interventions. For example, 80% of mastectomies (mastectomy - surgery to remove the mammary gland), which produce in breast cancer, lead to such a serious complication as the development of limpidemia of the upper limb of varying severity.
Causes of the disease may include:

  • surgery for oncological diseases (upper limbs: breast cancer, breast cavity tumors, mastectomy)
  • lower limbs: erysipelas of lower extremities
  • tumor diseases of the pelvic organs
  • obesity
  • Clippel-Trenone syndrome (congenital disease).

In the diagnosis of this disease,examination data, ultrasound examination of the veins of the lower extremities, abdominal organs, examination of the chest cavity organs: x-ray, computed tomography, laboratory studies.

For today there are no pharmacological agents that would prove effective in treating lymphostasis of any nature. The basis for the treatment of lymphostasis is complex compression therapy:

  • bandage of the limb and application of compression knitwear!
  • hardware intermittent pneumocompression;
  • manual lymph drainage massage in specialized institutions;


Treatment of lymphostasis is complex and time-consuminga process that must occur ONLY under the supervision of a specialist! Operative treatment of lymphostasis in most cases is not effective. Practically all the apparatus methods of treatment of lymphostasis (such as "pneumomassage", laser therapy, magnetotherapy and other types of physiotherapy) have a number of serious shortcomings and not effective. The best results are provided by complex conservative treatment, including manual lymphatic drainage with the imposition of compression bandage, which requires high qualification of specialists.

Good and fairly fast results in treatmentlymphostasis of the feet, especially in the shin area, gives the use of specialized myostimulators (for example, the Veinoplus apparatus), when combined with conservative techniques (lymphatic drainage massage and bandage).

Possible complications in the treatment of lymphostasis:

Today in Russia, a specializedtreatment of patients with lymphedema, but the availability of such treatment is extremely limited. And this means that with each passing day, month, year their condition worsens, lymphostasis progresses, problems with movement, self-service, social adaptation deteriorate, the quality of life deteriorates significantly. Lack of treatment for lymphedema (lymphostasis) leads to impaired microcirculation in surrounding tissues, the development of fibrosis (severe compaction) and the appearance of trophic ulcers. Changing erysipelas further exacerbate the problem and lead to many complications up to sepsis and death.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Treatment of Lymphostasis

- Is it possible to treat lymphostasis with oncological diseases? For example, with breast cancer?
Usually, lymphostasis (stasis and withdrawal problemslymphatic fluid) arise after any operations that have been performed on an oncological occasion. For example, after removal of the mammary gland (mastectomy). The very procedure of treatment of lymphostasis after oncological operations is not dangerous. However, in addition to traditional compression methods, there are also medicamental methods of treatment. Such procedures are already strongly recommended under the supervision of the attending physician.

-Is not it dangerous to treat lymphostasis of any limbs during pregnancy?

Usually not. However, it is worthwhile to understand that each case is individual, even if it is a question of compression methods of treatment. In addition, there is also a medical treatment, the result of which should be predicted by a specialist doctor.

- Is it possible to get rid of the problem of outflow of lymphatic fluid in children? Are there any restrictions for them?

Children most often talk about chronic orcongenital lymphostasis. With traditional methods, there are usually no restrictions, but they are in the treatment of drugs or antibiotics. However, to treat such diseases, again, always need with the help of a specialist doctor.

- Are there any less common but effective methods of treatment?

Yes, for example, lymphatic drainage with the help of appropriate massage techniques.