Lege Artis Medicinae

[CHRONIC LYMPHOEDEMA - PREVENTION AND TREATMENT]

STIRCZER Gabriella

SEPTEMBER 18, 2004

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2004;14(08-09)

[The congenital or acquired damage of the lymphatic system can lead to the increase of the interstitial fluid in the affected extremity which can lead to chronic lymphoedema. Congenital lymphoedema is relatively rare. The interest in chronic lymphoedema is relatively high as the frequency of tumours is increasing (with surgical and irradiation therapy in the background) and of the growing numbers of the secondary lymphoedema cases due to chronic venous insufficiency in the extremities. The diagnosis and early treatment of the disease is important because the illness without therapy can be progressive and lead in severe complications, such as permanent disability of the patient. In the last 10-15 years the conservative therapy protocol of chronic lymphoedema has been introduced in Hungary and the necessary appliances are financed by the National Health Service (OEP). However, it is unfortunate that there are not enough lymphoedemic centres and patients often visit the outpatient departments only after the advice of a fellow-patient. These days, a great proportion of the patients are without treatment and in many cases the therapy can only concentrate for the prevention of the complications.]

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