Lymphedema may take place in two ways. The first one is observed during birth, juvenile onset or adulthood stages, although the reason thereof has not been determined yet. This is called Primary Lymphedema.
Secondary Lymphedema is the lymphedema which occurs after a surgical operation or following a trauma.
The disease is observed when the amount of lymph fluid is more than the lymphatic system can carry due to damages in the lymph channels which circulate the lymph fluid in the body. This disease is known as elephantiasis colloquially. This generally causes problems such as anxiety and depression due to social issues in patients.
How is Lymphedema diagnosed?
For making a definitive diagnosis of the disease, a Lymphoscintigraphic examination has to be performed.
What Are the Stages of Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a progressive disease if it is untreated. Lymphedema has three stages, and untreated patients progress to the third stage from the first stage:
Lymphedema Stage 1: Reversible Lymphedema. Temporary swelling is observed. Edema is gradually increased during the day and disappears after resting during the night.
Stage 2: Chronic, irreversible lymphedema. The disease progresses with continuous swelling, decreased sensation, pain, burning and limitation of movement.
Stage 3: Lymphostatic elephantiasis. Limb deformation increasing overtime, significantly restricted motion and function and serious pains take place.
Lymphedema Treatment Methods
Lymphedema can be treated basically in two ways, which are physical therapy and surgery.
Physical therapy process includes complex decongestive physiotherapy, manual lymph drainage, compression bandaging and exercise. A special lymph drainage massage applied completely manually to patients, a compression treatment carried out by special bandages for lymphedema following the massage and self-massage are applied in complex decongestive physiotherapy.
20-30 treatment sessions are applied depending on the patient’s situation. Pressure garments with appropriate pressure are given to the patient following the treatment. Realization of free flow of the lymph fluid blocked in the lymph system is achieved through manual lymphatic drainage technique. Manual lymphatic drainage is a special massage technique which is applied by hand and its purpose is; to take the lymph fluid from the edematous region and ensure the flow thereof to other parts of the body.
Surgical approaches are as follows:
What is lymphaticovenous anastomosis?
Lymph Node Transplant?
What is super microsurgery?
Microsurgery is the surgical intervention made to small objects beyond human sight. Super microsurgery is a concept which is even beyond this level. In this context, intervention is made to veins smaller than 1 mm (0.2 mm-0.8 mm in diameter). Microscope with special-magnification BU concept vessels in diameter, sutures are made with extraordinarily thin threads (thinner than a human hair).
What is the importance of super microsurgery concept in lymphedema disease?
Lymph vessels are found by 1 or 2 cm incisions under local anaesthesia in patients in particular with phase II. These lymphatic vessels are marsupialized to capillary veins by virtue of neighbourhood and in this way lymphatic-venous bypass surgery is performed, and transfers the lymph flow to the vascular system in the broken region and prevents the accumulation of lymph fluid in question between cells.
Super microsurgery method is applied because these vessels are very small.
Breast lift or mastopexy raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast.
Lipedema “Painful Fattening” which is observed only in women genetically is a disease that can be seen within the entire leg beginning from the hip except foot. Although the disease occurs by being inherited genetically, it may occur also as a result of some chronic diseases. Although it may progress in a very light condition, it can also cause swelling that may prevent walking.
What are the differences between Lymphedema and Lipedema?
-Lipedema is extremely painful. Lymphedema is not very severe, although there is pain.
-Bruising is observed in lipedema. This is seen only in the last stages of lymphedema.
-Feet never swell in lipedema. Swelling usually starts from feet in lymphedema.
-Swelling is equal and symmetrical in both legs Lipedema. Swelling usually starts in one leg in lymphedema.
Pharmacological treatment of lipedema is not possible. The most appropriate method is liposuction, which is frequently used by plastic surgeons. It is intended to remove the accumulation of fat in the legs by this way.
The most important point here is not to give damage to lymph vessels while liposuction is carried out and an expert surgeon’s making the application, since it may cause special complications. It may seem like a cosmetic operation basically, however it includes different details.
Vaser Liposuction in treatment of Lipedema
Liposuction is quite comfortable now than ever before thanks to the enhancement of technology along with increasing developments in medicine. The patients heal very quickly and the healing process is very comfortable because unnecessary blood loss is prevented thanks to Vaser Liposuction, and it is an operation targeting only fat cells and the tissues have the minimum harm
An appropriate amount of fat is taken also in Lipedema patients by Vaser Liposuction, and the patients return to social life in the shortest time.