Lymphedema is a buildup of lymph fluid, which contains infection-fighting white blood cells. The condition can cause swelling anywhere in the body, including the arm, hand, leg, or foot. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes during treatment for cancer, though some people are born with it. There is no cure for lymphedema, and so doctors focus on managing the symptoms.
At NYU Langone’s Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, Rusk Rehabilitation, and Vein Center, our specialists are experts at diagnosing and managing lymphedema.
Treatment of lymphedema typically includes lifestyle modifications, such as wearing compression garments and taking steps to avoid a skin infection. Rarely, doctors perform surgery to transplant healthy lymph nodes to the affected area.
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