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A Guide to Lymphoedema: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments


What Is Lymphoedema

Lymphoedema causes swelling of the extremities due to irreversible damage to the lymphatic system, including lymphatic channels and lymph nodes. This long-term condition commonly affects the older population with excess weight, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory disorders.

Lymphoedema Causes

The lymphatic system, particularly the lymph nodes, contains lymphocytes that break down bacteria, viruses and damaged cells. These waste products flow in the lymph fluid that the lymph vessels drain. However, the following reasons may damage the lymphatic system resulting in faulty lymph fluid drainage and pooling, commonly in the arms and legs.

  • Parasites like threadlike worms may clog the lymph nodes.
  • Lymph node surgery removal to reduce cancer cells may result in lymphedema.
  • Radiation treatment for Cancer cause scarring and inflammation of lymph vessels and lymph nodes.
  • Benign or cancerous tumour growth near the lymph system, resulting in lymph fluid flow blockage.

When to Visit Our Vascular Specialists: Common Lymphoedema Symptoms to Look Out For

The most common lymphoedema symptom is persistent swelling of the arms and legs due to fluid retention and tissue swelling. The inflammation may be temporary and leaves a dent when pressed. This condition impacts one’s quality of life if left untreated.

Most frequent concerns and indicators of lymphoedema.

Achy and heavy feeling in the extremities
Limited mobility
Repeated skin infections
Presence of stiff, tight, or thickened skin
Wart-like growths on the skin
Fluid leaking through the skin

Lymphoedema may also occur in the head and neck. This may cause heaviness in the face, mouth, and throat.

Early intervention leads to optimal patient outcomes. Our senior vascular and general surgeons, Dr Tang and Dr Wong, provide individualised guidance and treatment options based on your unique needs.

How Our Vascular Specialists Diagnose Lymphoedema

Our trained and experienced specialists at the Vascular and Endovascular Clinic perform a detailed examination to assess the extent of swelling and identify potential contributing factors. Additionally, they review past medical history to understand pre-existing conditions and previous medical surgeries that may increase your risk.

Diagnostic Test to Confirm Lymphoedema in Singapore

  • Ultrasound detects obstructions within the lymphatic and vascular systems using sound waves.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan produces high-resolution images of the area using a magnetic field and radio waves.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan identifies blockages in the lymphatic system by employing X-ray technology for cross-sectional body part images.

Empowering Vascular Health: Lymphoedema Treatments & Management

Due to its incurable nature, lymphoedema therapy in Singapore aims to minimize symptoms, improve lymphatic circulation, and enhance the overall quality of life. The following comprehensive lymphoedema treatments, intervention and lifestyle management provide optimal vascular health for mild and severe cases.

Lymphoedema exercises
Compression therapy
Lympho-venous bypass
Lymph Node transfer

Although surgical interventions are effective for severe lymphoedema, these procedures are recommended after exhausting conservative care. When a non-surgical approach yields limited benefits, consulting our specialists help identify a suitable course of action according to the severity of your condition and individual preferences.

Why Early Lymphoedema Management Is Crucial for Vascular Health and Overall Well-Being

Lymphoedema impacts physical and mental health, affecting self-esteem and body image. Addressing it enables patients to focus on overall health, engage in activities they love, and regain comfort.

Benefits of Early Lymphoedema Management

Prevent progression and irreversible changes
Minimise the risk of complications
Improve comfort and mobility
Sustain an active lifestyle

With lifestyle interventions, lymphoedema in its early stage is manageable to continue an active lifestyle, be productive at work, and achieve a fulfilling life.

Embrace Optimal Patient Outcomes With Our Fellowship-Trained Senior Vascular and General Surgeons

We aim to empower patients to take control of their wellness and experience great comfort, mobility, and overall well-being through patient education and knowledge. Our team of doctors, with other specialist groups, work hand in hand to provide quality vascular care in a caring and respectful approach.

With patient-centred vascular care and evidence-based treatments, Dr Tang and Dr Wong provide unwavering support through your journey to proactively manage lymphoedema. Our experienced specialists offer personalised vascular treatment plans that align with your unique needs and concerns.

A life brimming with vitality and vigour awaits you.

Dr Tang is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.
Dr Wong is highly regarded for his specialised clinical interests and skills in a wide range of vascular conditions.

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