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General Information

Your lymphatic system is a large network of lymph vessels and small lymph nodes that helps make up your immune system. Lymph is a fluid that circulates in your body through the lymphatic system to the bloodstream. When there’s an abnormal buildup of lymph in your body’s soft tissue, it’s called lymphedema.

Serving northern Indiana, our compassionate team at Goshen Heart & Vascular Center prevents and treats lymphedema. We strive to improve the health of our community – and that includes reducing your discomfort from lymphedema.

To keep your heart & vascular system working its best, talk to your primary care provider about a heart screening.

What causes lymphedema?

You may develop lymphedema if your lymph nodes or lymphatic system is damaged or if lymph doesn’t drain properly through a lymph node.

Primary lymphedema is caused by a lymphatic system defect. Secondary lymphedema is more common and is caused by damaging or removing a lymph node.

Lymph nodes can be damaged by injury, infection, surgery, scar tissue, radiation treatment and cancer.

Being overweight can put you at a higher risk for developing lymphedema. Maintaining a healthy weight or losing excess weight can help prevent this vascular disease. Along with offering our cardiac patients an exercise room at our center, we offer a medically managed weight loss program to partner with you in your heart & vascular health. Talk to your doctor about your options.

Treating your symptoms with care

The signs of lymphedema start gradually and may include:

  • Difficulty moving the affected limb
  • Limited range of motion
  • Tight or heavy feeling
  • Swelling of the affected part of the body, such as your arm, hands or fingers
  • Aches, pain and discomfort
  • Hard, thickened skin
  • Infections on the affected limb

While lymphedema is chronic and there is no specific cure, Goshen Heart & Vascular Center can help you find ways to manage your symptoms. Our experts recommend these tips:

  • Reduce swelling by using a bandage or compression sleeve or stocking.
  • Exercise the affected limb to encourage circulation.
  • Keep your skin clean, dry and well-moisturized to prevent cracking, which can lead to infection.
  • See a qualified therapist for lymphatic massage.

We can create a solution that works for your unique needs.

Are you a new or existing patient?