What is the difference between Primary and Secondary Lymphoedema?
Primary Lymphoedema can be present at birth or develop later on in life.
Secondary Lymphoedema is often the result of a cancer operation but the lymph vessels can also be injured or destroyed by other surgical intervention or by severe injury.
Stages of Lymphoedema
Stage I (Reversible stage)
The lymphatic system is overstrained so a protein-rich soft swelling develops in the affected area. It leaves an indent when pressure is applied and on raising the swollen limb, the swelling will be reduced.
Stage II (Irreversible stage)
It is no longer possible to produce indentations when pressure is applied. The swelling is also no longer reduced when the limb is raised. The swelling becomes characterised by the presence of excess connective tissue.
Stage III (Elephantiasis stage)
There is a high risk of inflammation and the skin is vulnerable to the development of deep badly healing sores. The swelling is extreme and the skin has hardened, showing wart like growths.
©2010 GeeCol Wellness Ltd.