Swelling, most often in an arm or leg, caused by a lymphatic system blockage.


Lymphedema is swelling that generally occurs in an arm or leg, but can also occur in the chest wall, abdomen, neck and genitals. The condition is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, part of the immune and circulatory systems. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatment.


Lymphedema symptoms typically include swelling of part or all of the arm or leg, including fingers and toes. A feeling of heaviness or tightness and a loss of range of motion in the arm or leg also are common symptoms.


Treatment focuses on reducing the swelling and preventing complications. Exercise, wrapping, massage and compression can help. Surgery is an option in more-serious cases.