Phlebolymphedema

What is Phlebolymphedema?

Phlebolymphedema is a swelling that occurs when the lymphatic system is unable to adequately drain lymph fluid that has accumulated in severe chronic venous hypertension. The circulatory and lymphatic systems maintain a delicate balance in the body. If the venous system is damaged, it will typically affect the lymphatic vessel system.

What Causes Phlebolymphedema?

There is a host of contributing factors related to phlebolymphedema such as systemic diseases like congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or nephropathy that increase the demand on the lymphatic system. It is also caused by insufficiency of the venous or lymphatic systems (or sometimes both) of the accumulation of lymph.

What are the Symptoms of Phlebolymphedema?

Often, symptoms do not occur until several years after injury to the lymphatic system. It is not unusual for patients with phlebolymphedema to experience swelling in the evening. Other symptoms include:

Swelling of part or the entire limb, including toes or fingers
Heaviness or tightness
Weakness
Diminished joint flexibility
Aching or discomfort
Recurring infections
Hardening, thickening, or discoloration of the overlying skin

What are the Treatment Options for Phlebolymphedema?

There is no cure for this condition, but there are treatments that will help you to manage it, minimizing discomfort and reducing the swelling. Often treatment will include compression therapy, massage, and light exercise. Surgical treatments are also used in extreme cases to relieve the pressure by removing excess tissue and fluid.

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