jueves, 3 de marzo de 2022

WORLD LYMPHEDEMA DAY 2022 - Prevention and Treatment


A DAY FOR VINDICATION 

This commemorative date serves as an opportunity to publically make demands for all people living with this disease. Some of the demands made by AGL are the implementation in the health system of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) with Manual Lymphatic Drainage for all people diagnosed with lymphoedema, rapid diagnosis, the need for more specialized professionals, and the existence of a real database with the number of people affected by lymphoedema, as well as the creation of a Reference Centre for Lymphoedema. Read more about which country has the best public healthcare coverage of lymphedema HERE.

THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM, AN INTEGRAL  PART OF THE VASCULAR CIRCULATORY SYSTEM 

The vascular system, also called the circulatory system, consists of the vessels that transport blood or lymph throughout the body.  Blood vessels carry blood through the body, thus supplying oxygen and nutrients to the body's tissues and removing waste from the tissues. Lymphatic vessels carry lymph fluid (a clear, colorless fluid containing water and white blood cells). The lymphatic system helps protect and maintain the body's fluid by filtering and draining lymph in all parts of the body. When there is localized fluid retention that is caused by inadequate drainage of lymph fluid, this causes a collection of extravascular fluid and swelling, that may affect limbs, genitalia, internal organs, or even the whole body, which is called lymphedema. Read more about what is Phlebolymphedema HERE.

Diseases of the Circulatory System as Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) in Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Lymphedema (LE) in Lymphatic Vascular Disease, are more easily treated in their earliest stages. The goals of preventive treatment in diseases of the circulatory system are to reduce the pooling of blood in venous disease, and the pooling of lymph fluid (dermal backflow) in lymphatic vascular disease, thus preventing limb swelling, skin complications, and disease progression. 

PRIMARY PREVENTION 

Vascular medicine or vascular surgery specialists typically recommend a combination of preventive treatments for people with Venous Insufficiency and Lymphatic Dysfunction. Some of the simple basic daily self-care preventive treatment strategies include:

  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting.

  • Exercise regularly

  • Control weight.  

  • Elevate limbs while sitting and lying down.

  • Wear gradient Compression Garments, circular-knit for CVI, and flat-knit for LR. 

  • Take antibiotics as needed to treat skin infections.

  • Practice good hygiene and skincare.

  • Use adequate clothing and footwear

NON-SURGICAL FIRST-LINE TREATMENT

Education and improving access to health services are keys to the successful prevention of Lymphedema Stage III (elephantiasis). The First-line reduction strategy for patients with established lymphedema is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Compression Garments are the cornerstones of therapy.  Read more about what is the best treatment for lymphedema HERE. 

With reference to dermatolymphangioadenitis (DLA), also known as Infectious Cellulitis, studies have found that the control of swelling is associated with a lower risk of cellulitis, that advanced stages of chronic edema are a strong risk factor. Evidence also supports that Compression Garments are essential. Infectious cellulitis can lead to sepsis (septicemia)Read more about what are the preventive measures of Infectious Cellulitis in lymphedema HERE.

PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT

The psychological stress factors in Lymphedema must also be taken into consideration regarding the quality of life indicators of patients. The negative situation of no treatment or undertreatment of lymphedema leads to disease progression, and the burden associated with the physical, psychological, social, and economic well-being of people, contributes to the cycle of disability, disfigurement (body deformities), social stigmatization, poverty, and suffering. 

The imperative placed on some patients regarding acceptance and compliance with low-cost treatment options can be questionable at an ethical and Human Rights level, for these management options are in many cases ineffective in reducing the edema volume, or they can even have serious long term side effects, which may, in turn, be even more stressful for patients. Read more information about psychological aspects surrounding non-treatment of lymphedema HERE.

 During World Lymphedema Day, we also seek to increase public understanding of Lymphatic Vascular Diseases and tackle the social stigma and undertreatment attached to this treatable disease.

REFERENCES

(Pinch on the texts to read the following Research Articles)

SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES
DIAGNOSE AND TREATMENT








  • WHAT KIND OF DOCTOR TREATS LYMPHEDEMA/LYMPHOEDEMA - WHICH MEDICAL SPECIALITIES ARE RELATED TO LYMPHEDEMA










LYMPHEDEMA INCIDENCE 
AND PREVALENCE
(click on the texts) 












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