How Do You Get Lymphedema?
Causes of Lymphedema
Genetic abnormality involving either VEGF-C or FOXC-2 Gene.
1. Milroy’s Disease or Milroy’s Syndrome – arm and/or leg swelling evident at birth. Evident at birth or soon after. Most undiagnosed form of lymphedema because patient is baby with arm and/or leg swelling with no known cause.
2. Lymphedema Praecox or Lymphedema Meige – arm and/or leg swelling occurs generally at puberty.
3. Lymphedema Tarda – arm and/or leg swelling occurs at or beyond age 35.
Primary – Developmental Disorders of the Lymphatics
Lymphedema will accompany these disorders. Note: Primary does not always means hereditary.
1. Turner Syndrome
2. Klinefelter Syndrome
3. Trisomy 21
4. Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber- Syndrome
5. Noonan Syndrome
6. Lymphedema-Hypoparathyroidism Syndrome
7. Yellow Nail Syndrome
8. Sharp-Aagenaes Syndrome
9. Lymphoedema with Distichiasis
may also be referred to as Falls-Kertesz Syndrome
10. Avasthey-Roy Syndrome
11. Hennekam’s Syndrome – Also referred to as lymphangiectasia.
12. Jeken’s Syndrome
13. Figueroa Syndrome
Primary – nonhereditary – congenital manifestation
1. Trauma or injury inutero or at birth that damages lymphatics/lymph system.
2. Spontaneous change in genetic material early in fetal development.
Described also as acquired lymphedema.
1. World-wide most common form is Lymphatic Filariasis. An estimated 120 million people are afflicted. Caused by parasitic thread-like worm, transmitted through a mosquito bite.
2. Lymph node removal for cancer biopsy. Leading cause of secondary lymphedema in the “developed” world. Most often associated with breast cancer. However, node removal is done for all cancers.
3. Radiation treatment which damages lymphatics
4. Infections which can cause scar tissue formation in lymphatics.
(d) Cat scratch disease
5. Traumas and injuries
(a) Severe limb damage from automobile or other accidents that require major reconstructive surgeries
(b) Serious fractures and bone breaks again requiring intense surgery
(c) Joint replacements, especially in areas of linguinal nodes which involves hip replacements
(d) Vascular surgeries
(e) Burns, which can include severe sunburn that causes intense trauma to skin
6. Lipedema – also referred as “painful fat syndrome.” This is in itself a little understood and under diagnosed medical condition. It is imperative to understand that an individual with lipedema is not simply morbidly obese.
7. Insect bites and resultant infections
8. Morbid obesity