Lymphedema Doctor - Physician - Lymphologist

A Lymphedema Doctor is a physician with training and expertise in lymphology.
- Margarita Correa MD, December 17th, 2010

For Immediate Release...December 17th, 2010

Lymphedema Doctor - Physician - Lymphologist A lymphedema doctor is a physician with training and expertise in lymphology. Lymphology is the study of the lymphatic system. The lymphedema physician (Lymphologist) through a medical history and physical examination can help differentiate between the different kinds of "edemas". Edema or swelling of an arm or leg can be related to conditions of the heart, kidney, liver; venous system disorders such as chronic venous disease and deep venous thrombosis; and may be related to side effect of some medications. When the lymph fluid flow is impaired then is accumulated and called lymphedema. Lymphedema may be inherited (primary) or caused by injury to the lymphatic vessels (secondary). While the exact cause of primary lymphedema is still unknown, it generally occurs due to poorly-developed or missing lymph nodes and/or channels in the body. Lymphedema may be present at birth (congenital), develop at the onset of puberty (praecox), or not become apparent for many years into adulthood (tarda). Lower-limb primary lymphedema is most common, occurring in one or both legs. Some cases of lymphedema may be associated with other vascular abnormalities. Secondary lymphedema affects both men and women. In women, it is most prevalent in the upper limbs after breast surgery and lymph nodes dissection, occurring in the arm on the side of the body in which the surgery is performed. Head and neck lymphedema can be caused by surgery or radiation therapy for tongue or throat cancer. It may also occur in the lower limbs or groin after surgery for colon, ovarian or uterine cancer in which removal of lymph nodes or radiation therapy is required. Surgery and/or treatment for prostate, colon and testicular cancers may result in secondary lymphedema, particularly when lymph nodes have been removed or damaged. Treatment for lymphedema varies depending on the severity of the edema and the degree of fibrosis of the affected limb. Most people with lymphedema follow a daily regimen of treatment as suggested by their physician and certified lymphedema therapist. The lymphedema physician can treat related medical conditions and/or complications mostly related to the skin such as ulcers, eczema; and episodes of cellulitis properly named dermatolymphoadenitis. The infectious process should be treated promptly to prevent major complications such as sepsis that can be in some cases life threatening. In patients with history of malignancy, worsening of the lymphedema can be a sign of recurrence or infiltration of malignant cells. The lymphedema physician may order diagnostic studies such as venous & arterial doppler (ultrasound), CTscan, MRI and/or Lymphoscintigraphy - a study to evaluate the function of the lymphatic system. The kidney and heart function should be properly assessed before starting decongestive therapy. The most common treatments for lymphedema are a combination of the use of manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging and garment; and intermittent sequential gradient pumps. Complex decongestive physiotherapy is a system of manual lymphatic drainage massage, application of multi-layer compression bandages, skin care and education.

Tags: lymphedema | edema | lymphology | lymphologist | doctor | physician | therapy

Website: Learn More About Margarita Correa MD

About the Author

Margarita Correa MD is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine and Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine. Former Professor of the Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Sports Health Department, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, San Juan, P.R. Dr. Correa did her Lymphedema training with Coast to Coast School of Lymphedema Management, Leduc Lymphedema Management Method, Basic and three Advanced Courses. Dr. Correa is practicing Lymphedema diagnosis and management since 2002 to present. Dr. Correa has dictated Lymphedema conferences at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program for several years to residents in training and in forums in the US. Dr. Correa established the first comprehensive lymphedema program for adults and pediatrics in San Juan, Puerto Rico private practice at Centro Fisiatrico Americo Miranda Inc (2003 - 2007) NLN sponsor diagnostic and treatment center and relocated to Florida in 2008. Postal address: 2020 Oakley Seaver Drive, Suite 1, Clermont, FL 34711 Phone (352) 404-6959 Fax (352) 404-6960

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