ARE LYMPHEDEMA AND VENOUS EDEMA THE SAME?

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If you’ve ever experienced swelling in your legs or arms, after a quick google search, you may have wondered whether you were suffering from venous edema or lymphedema. Both are very different conditions with different names and treatment methods, but there similar presentation can make for a confused patient. Many people ask the question, are lymphedema and venous edema the same thing and that’s why we thought we’d break down he facts. This will look at the similarities and differences of lymphedema and venous edema to help answer this question!

WHAT IS LYMPHEDEMA?

Millions of people have lymphedema. Lymphedema is a medical condition that causes swelling in one or more of an individual’s extremities. This swelling is caused by an impaired flow in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made of a specialized network of vessels that help collect excess lymph fluid from the body. After it has collected the excess lymph fluid it filters it through the lymph nodes. However if the lymphatic system is not functioning properly, then the body will react to the excess lymph fluid and swell. Millions of people have lymphedema. Lymphedema is a medical condition that causes swelling in one or more of an individual’s extremities. This swelling is caused by an impaired flow in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is made of a specialized network of vessels that help collect excess lymph fluid from the body. After it has collected the excess lymph fluid it filters it through the lymph nodes. However if the lymphatic system is not functioning properly, then the body will react to the excess lymph fluid and swell.

WHAT IS VENOUS EDEMA?

Venous edema, also known as chronic venous insufficiency, is a disease of the veins that spreads to the lymphatics. This causes a chronic leakage of venous fluid into the tissues which then compromises lymphatic function. This condition causes your leg veins to not allow blood to travel back up to the heart. Venous edema can cause this blood that is not traveling towards the heart to flow backwards and collect or pool in the legs. Although venous edema can affect any part of your body, you may notice it more in your hands, arms, feet, ankles and legs.

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