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100 Questions & Answers About Lymphedema by Saskia R.J. Thiadens

By Saskia R.J. Thiadens

Publication by means of Saskia R.J. Thiadens, Paula J. Stewart, Nicole L. Stout

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QXP 8/5/09 11:35 AM Page 43 100 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT LYMPHEDEMA Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis achieved by elevating the affected limb, applying light compression (if directed by your medical team) to encourage reduction of fluid, and/or improving mobility of the body region to help restore more normal lymphatic function. Even a very small amount of swelling in the affected limb can be problematic if not adequately managed. The nature of lymphedema is to progress gradually over time when it is not appropriately cared for.

Where can I locate a clinic to be treated? Many specialty health care teams and clinics are affiliated with hospitals and large outpatient-based therapy clinics. The National Lymphedema Network (NLN) provides a list of therapists and specialty clinics around the country. org) or in LymphLink, the official NLN quarterly newsletter. QXP 8/5/09 11:35 AM Page 26 hospital or outpatient rehabilitation clinic and ask if they have a lymphedema program or a lymphedema specialist on staff. Your insurance company may also be able to give you a list of therapists who treat lymphedema and are covered by your insurance plan.

Can lymphedema run in my family? The Basics Yes. As discussed in Question 4, about 10% of the lymphedema in the United States is hereditary and is called primary lymphedema. If the lymphedema is present at birth, it is called congenital and is most likely inherited lymphedema. When it occurs later in life, it can be more difficult to determine if the lymphedema is hereditary or has some other cause. In this instance, it is important to survey the family history for family members with lymphedema.

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