The reasons behind lymphedema

Primary lymphedema

Lymphedema might be developed already from birth. This is called primary lymphedema. In primary lymphedema body is exposed to swelling in the areas and limbs where the lymphatic system is not functioning properly.

Secondary lymphedema

The lymph carrying capacity might also become damaged after surgeries, radiotherapy, trauma or infection. For example, in cancer surgeries the lymph nodes close to tumor area are often either removed or radiated. The removed or operated lymph nodes might predispose body to lymphatic swelling after the cancer treatments. Upper limb swelling is common especially after breast cancer surgeries and after removing lymph nodes from the armpit.

Obesity is also one component in lymphatic swelling and developing a secondary lymphedema. Sometimes it is the only reason for lymphedema.