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Lymphedema is the build-up of fluid in soft body tissues when the lymph system is damaged or blocked.

Lymphedema occurs when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. Fluid builds up in soft body tissues and causes swelling. It is a common problem that may be caused by cancer and cancer treatment. Lymphedema usually affects an arm or leg, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Lymphedema can cause long-term physical, psychological, and social problems for patients.

The lymph system is a network of lymph vessels, tissues, and organs that carry lymph throughout the body.

The parts of the lymph system that play a direct part in lymphedema include the following:

  • Lymph: A clear fluid that contains lymphocytes (white blood cells) that fight infection and the growth of tumors. Lymph also contains plasma, the watery part of the blood that carries the blood cells.

  • Lymph vessels: A network of thin tubes that helps lymph flow through the body and returns it to the bloodstream.

  • Lymph nodes: Small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fight infection and disease. Lymph nodes are located along the network of lymph vessels found throughout the body. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarm, pelvis, neck, abdomen, and groin.

The spleen, thymus, tonsils, and bone marrow are also part of the lymph system but do not play a direct part in lymphedema.

Information provided courtesy of the National Cancer Institute.

           
         
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Abscess: a localized collection of pus caused by suppuration buried in tissues, organs, or confined spaces. See also septic foci or angulus venosus.

Abduction: The movement of a limb away from the midline of the body such moving the arms outward away from the sides of the body. Compare with adduction.

Academy of Lymphatic Studies: ACOLS - Training school for lymphedema therapists. Founded in 1984 by MLD/CDT certified therapist Joachim E. Zuther and is located in Sebastian, Florida.

Acupuncture: Ancient Chinese practice of puncturing the body (as with needles) at specific points to cure disease or relieve pain. Controversial in treatment of lymphedema because of the possibility of weeping lymphorrhea and infection from entry locales.

Adduction: The movement of a limb toward the midline of the body such moving the arms inward toward from the sides of the body. Compare with abduction.

Adhesion: the abnormal union of surfaces normally separate by the formation of new fibrous tissue resulting from an inflammatory process and/or the growing together of wound edges thereby forming a scar.

Aerobic exercises: Exercises that bring the heart beat and breathing levels to optimum levels for a specific period of time with the intention of increasing the need for oxygen, strengthening both the circulatory system and physiological endurance.

Afferent lymphatic vessels: Vessels that carry lymph into the lymph nodes. Afferent lymphatic vessels enter the nodes at multiple points on their convex surface; efferent vessels leave at the indented hilum.

Allelic: Two alternate forms of a gene. Alternative medicine: Practices not generally recognized by the medical community as standard or conventional. Includes dietary supplements, megadose vitamins, herbal preparations, massage therapy, magnet therapy, spiritual healing, and meditation. See also holistic medicine.

Ambulatory: General term used when a patient is able to walk about, person is self mobile.

Amino acid: A molecule that is a building block of protein.

Angion: A lymphatic vessel or channel between two valves in the lymphatic system that carries or conveys lymph fluid. See also lymphangion.

Angulus venosus: Old terminology use to describe the junction of of internal jugular and subclavian veins.

Antibiotic: Chemical substances, produced by living organisms or synthesized (created) in laboratories, for the purpose of killing other organisms that cause disease; some cancer therapies interfere with the body’s ability to fight off infection (they suppress the immune system), so antibiotics may be needed along with the cancer treatment to prevent or treat infections.

Antibody: Protein in the blood that defends against invading foreign agents, such as bacteria; invading agents contain certain chemical substances called antigens – each antibody works against a specific antigen.

Antioxidant vitamin: Vitamins that assist the body is cleansing itself fom waste and radical free agents.

Aquatic therapy: A therapeutic procedure which attempts to improve function through the application of aquatic therapeutic exercises. These procedures require constant attendance of a therapist educated in performing aquatic therapeutic exercises.

Aromatherapist: One who is trained/certified in the alternative medical concept known as Aromatherapy. See Aromatherapy and Lymphedema Treatment.

Aromatherapy: is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. It is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach.

Arterioles: The smallest divisions of the arteries located between the muscular arteries and the capillaries.

Atrophy: Weakening or degeneration especially through lack of use. A decrease in size of an organ caused by disease or disuse.

Augmentin: Augmentin is a brand name for the drug amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium and is used in the treatment of lower respiratory, middle ear, sinus, skin and urinary tract infections. For lymphedema patients especially effective and beneficial for cellulitis and lymphangitis infections.

Autosomal: Of or relating to an autosome.

Autosome: Any chromosome that is not a not allowed chromosome; appear in pairs in body cells but as single chromosomes in spermatozoa.

Axillary dissection: A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary nodes) are removed and examined; often used to determine if breast cancer has spread to the axillary nodes.

Axillary nodes: Lymph nodes found in the armpit that drain the lymph channels from the breast.

Axillary node dissection: A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes in the armpit (axillary nodes) are removed and examined to find out if breast cancer has spread to those nodes and to remove any cancerous lymph nodes.

Bacteremia: The presence of bacteria in the blood. Bacteremia is diagnosed by growing organisms from a blood sample and treatment is with antibiotics.

Bacteria: The small one-celled microorganisms of the class Schizomycetes. Some are round (cocci), rod-shaped (bacilli), spiral (spirochetes), or comma-shaped (vibrios). The nature, severity, and outcome of any infection caused by a bacterium depends on the species.

Bacterial aneurysm: A dilation in a small area of a blood vessel caused by the growth of bacteria. This condition also follows septicemia or bacteremia.

Bacterial endocarditis: A bacterial infection of the lining of the heart. The symptoms are a heart murmur, prolonged fever, bacteremia, enlarged spleen, and blood clot. Prompt treatment with antibiotics is imperative to prevent destruction of the valves and heart failure.

Bacterial plaque: A film made up of microorganisms that cling to the teeth and often cause tooth decay and infections of the gums. This bacteria and tooth/mouth infections may become a serious septic foci for lymphedema patients.

Bacterial resistance: The ability of certain types of bacteria to develop a resistance to the effects of specific antibiotics. One type is referred to as multiple resistant staph aureus.

Bandaging: Bandages and compression aids are utilized in lymphedema treatment to provide pressure to stimulate drainage and fluid reduction.

Basement membrane: An amorphous extracellular layer, which is closely applied to the epithelium. It is composed of three layers; lamina lucida, lamina densa and lamina fibroreticularis, a matrix of Type IV collagen and several glycoproteins.

Basophil: A white blood cell with basophilic granules that is similar in function to a mast cell. Contained/formed in the bone marrow, part of the body's immune system.

Bellisse: Located in Vermont and founded by lymphedema therapist Leslie Bell and Lisa Lindahl, who invented the Jogbra.  Created and manufactures the Compression Comfort Bra.

Benign: Not cancer; not malignant; main types of benign breast problems are fibroadenomas and fibrocystic changes.

Benzopyrones: Drugs or herbal substances commonly used in Alternative Medicine, falls under the broader class of drugs called flavonoids. Some forms have been found useful in assisting in the treatment of cancers because of their ability to act as inhibitors and suppressants of tumor growths. Other types have been shown to help in the treatment of lymphatic developmental disorders. While these agents have been used for lymphedema in Europe and India there continues to be much debate of their effectiveness. In the United States the FDA has yet to approve their use.

Bilateral: Affecting both sides of the body; for example, bilateral breast cancer is cancer occurring in both breasts at the same time (synchronous) or at different times (metachronous). As in the case with lymphedema affecting both legs or both arms.

Biopsy: Procedure in which tissue samples are removed from the body for examination of their appearance under a microscope to find out if cancer or other abnormal cells are present; can be done with a needle or by surgery.

Blood clot: A thrombus is a clot which forms inside of a blood vessel. If that clot moves inside the vessel it is referred to as an embolus (embolism). The presence of atherosclerotic plaque lining blood vessel walls is a significant stimulus for clot formation. see embolism, thrombosis.

Body Mass Index (BMI): Formula developed to define the relationship between weight and height. Designed to assist in the determination of body fat. There are variables for age.

Boil: Localized skin infection, entry foci for cellulitis or lymphangitis - see carbuncle.

BRCA2 gene: One of two genes shown in the 1990's to be implicated in hereditary breast cancer. These two genes are referred to as tumor supressor genes. It is the mutated form of these genes that dramatically increases ones risk of developing breast cancer.

Buck's Fascia: Scrotal reduction surgery. First used in 1969 at the Oregon Health Sciences University.

Bullous pemphigoid antigen: A substance that promotes the adherence of the epithelial cell to the basement membrane.

Capillary bed: The network of capillaries in a particulararea or organ of the body. Exchanges that occur in capillary beds includesthe transfer of oxygen and nutrients in cells. Removal of carbon dioxide and wasters from the cells. As the transfer of fluids take place, white blood cells can then enter the interstitial tissues.

Carbuncle: Dermal inflammation commonly known as a boil. May be site of entry foci for bacterial infections.

Carrier oils: When oils such as sweet almond, grapeseed,evening primrose, aloe vera, or avocado are mixed with pure essential oils they are called carrier oils. Each of these oils, having their own properties and grades, can be used for specific purposes.

Cat scratch disease: An illness that is characterized by chills, slight fever, and swelling of the lymph glands and is caused by a gram-negative bacterium of the genus Bartonella (B. henselae syn. Rochalimaea henselae) transmitted especially by a cat scratch --called also cat scratch fever.

CDP: Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy.

CDT: Complete Decongestive Therapy.

Cellulitis: An inflammation of body tissue especially that below the skin characterized by fever and swelling and redness and pain. Common in lymphedema patients and requires immediate antibiotic therapy. See also lymphangitis.

Cervical nodes: One to four nodes lying along the external jugular vein; they drain the skin and superficial structures over the region of the sternocleidomastoid muscle and send efferent vessels to the deep lateral cervical lymph nodes.

Charles Procedure: One of the first used debulking surgeries for lymphedema. Large amounts of fluid-filled subcutaneous tissue removed from affected limb.

Cholestasis: A condition in which little or no bile is secreted or the flow of bile into the digestive tract is obstructed. Associated with hereditary familial lymphedema.

Chorioretinopathy: (CSR) Retinal disorder, characterized by typically by the appearance of a serous blister of fluid in the macula of one eye. Associatd with lymphedema, microcephaly.

Chronic venous insufficiency: A condition in which the vein do not channel the flow of blood adequately. most often this condition is seen in the veins of the lower extremities. Symptoms include leg swelling, leg pain and muscle cramps. This condition can predispose to venous thrombosis.

Chyliferous vessels: The lymphatic vessels of the small intestine. During digestion contain a milk-white fluid, the chyle.See also lacteals/lacteal vessels.

Circulatory system: The organs and tissues involved in circulating blood and lymph through the body. Composed of blood vessel, bloodstream, body, fetal circulation, foetal circulation, heart, liver, lymph, lymph gland, lymph node, node, organic structure, physical structure, pump, ticker, vascular system, vein, vena. The cardiovascular and lymphatic systems together comprise the totality of what is referred to as the circulatory system.

Cisterna chyli: Dilated or widdened beginning of the thoracic lymph duct. It is located near a vetebra in about the middle of the back or the lumbar region. The cisterna chyli receives the two lumbar lymphatic trunks, right and left, and the intestinal lymphatic trunk.

Clinical aromatherapist: One who is certified/trained in the alternative medical concept known as Aromatherapy.

Clinical aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. It is sometimes used in combination with massage and other therapeutic techniques as part of a holistic treatment approach.

CLT-LANA: Certified Lymphedema Therapist-Lymphology Association of North America.CMS: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, a divisions of the Department of Health & Humans Services (DHHS) of the U.S. government.

Collagen: The major protein of connective tissue, cartilage and bone which has a unique triple helix configuration formed by three polypeptide subunits known as alpha-chains. There are 11 types of collagen. The most common types are Type I, II, III, and IV. Type IV has fewer fibrils and forms the basement membrane.

Comorbidity: Term used in epidmiology to indicate the coexistance of two or more medical diseases. Examples would include lymphedema and cancer; chronic venous thrombosis and edema; lymphoma and leukopenia.

Complementary medicine: Complementary medicine is defined as those techniques which are used while the patient is using conventional ones. These include methods such as chiropractic and osteopathy. Alternative medicine includes techniques which are used to the exclusion of conventional medicine.

Complete Decongestive Therapy: (CDT) The system of lymphedema treatment that includes manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression techniques, and self-care training.

Compression: The act of applying pressure to an area of the body. In lymphedema either the massage pressure that moves lymph or the compression of the therapeutic pump device. Also, compression/support from garments and wraps preventing swelling.

Compressure Comfort Bra: A specialized bra to meet the needs of women with chest and breast lymphedema; also known as the Bellise Bra.

Congenital lymphedema: The form of primary lymphedema that is present from birth; also known as Milroy’s disease or Nonne-Milroy disease.

Congenital: An abnormal condition present at birth; this term is often incorrectly used interchangeably with hereditary.

Contour Sleeve: A cooler, lighter version of the ReidSleeve that is adjusted and held in place with a strip of Velcro.

Contralateral: Affecting the opposite side of the body.

Core needle biopsy: Obtaining a sample of tissue from a mass using a special larger needle. The procedure is most often performed in your doctor’s office.

CPT: Current Procedural Terminology; a coding system used to describe medical procedures for insurance coding purposes.

Cyst: A fluid-filled sac. Most cysts are benign (non-cancerous).

Debulking: General term used for surgeries in which subcutaneous tissue is removed from lymphodemous limb. See also Charles Procedure and Thompsons Procedure.

Dehydrate: To loose or remove excessive water/fluid from the body.

Dehydration: The loss of large amounts of water/fluid from body tissues.

Dermal flap: Segment of skin used in the Kondolean, Homans-Miller and Thompsons procedure that was actually sewn into the muscle of the lymphedema limb in attempts to draw fluids into the deeper lymphatics. Because of the consistant lack of positive effects usage has largely been discontinued and not recommended.

Dermatofibroma: Slow growing skin nodule. Coompsed generally of fibrotic/fiiberous tissue.

Diethylstilbestrol: (DES) A drug given to pregnant women from the early 1940s until 1971 to help with common problems during pregnancy. The drug has been linked to cancer of the cervix or vagina in women whose mother took the drug while pregnant.

Distichiasis: Double rows of eyelashes. The extra eyelashes grow from glands called the Meibomian glands and may protrude into the cornea, producing severe corneal abrasions. see primary lymphedema

Diuretic: A class of diuretic agents (e.g., furosemide, ethacrynic acid)that act by inhibiting reabsorption of sodium and chloride, not only in the proximal and distal tubules but also in Henle's loop. Common definition is an agent that helps the body eliminate excess fluids.

Edematous: Swollen with an excessive accumulation of fluid Edema: Swelling caused by an abnormal accumulation of fluid in body tissues. Not to be confused with lymphedema.

Efferent lymphatic vessels: Vessels that carry lymph out of the node to continue its return to the circulatory system.

Elastin: A yellow elastic fibrous mucoprotein that is the major protein of elastic structures such as blood vessels.

Elephantiasis: Hypertrophy of certain body parts (usually legs and scrotum); the end state of the disease filariasis. Lymphatic condition generally found in either tropical or sub-tropical regions of the world. Also, may be used to describe Stage III. lymphedema.

Endurance exercises: Activities that increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time; also known as aerobic exercises.

Entry wounds: Any opening or break in the skin that will allow bacteria to enter - see entry foci.

Entry foci: Term used to describe bacterial entry into the body. Examples include cuts, scrapes, abrashions, rashes, generally any open area.

Erysipelas: A skin infection that affects the subcutaneous tissues and lymphatic structures. May be marked by redness, swelling, often blisters, fever, pain and swollen lymph nodes. Generally caused by streptococci and treated with antibiotics.

Eosinophil: Are white blood cells that are part of the immune system responsible for combating multicellular parasites and certain infections in vertebrates.

Etiology: The cause or causes of a disease.

Excisional biopsy: Surgery to remove tissue for examination.

Extension: Straightening a limb at the joint. For example, during extension of the leg the knee is straightened and the lower leg is brought forward.

Extremities: The arms and legs.

Fibroblast: A fibroblast is a type of cell that synthesizes the extracellular matrix and collagen, the structural framework (stroma) for animal tissues, and plays a critical role in wound healing. Fibroblasts are the most common cells of connective tissue in animals.

Fibroma: A benign tumor consisting mainly of fibrous tissue.

Fibrosis: The formation of fine scar-like structures that cause tissues to harden and reduces the flow of fluids through these tissues.

Fibrotic: Pertains to fibrosis or the hardening of tissues. It can be caused by radiation, chemotherapy, burns, and the improper treatment of lymphedema.

Filariasis: Infestation with or disease caused by filariae.

First aid: The care given to an injured or ill patient, usually where the patient was injured. Initial care given to a victim who may be sick or injured.

Flavonoids: Flavonoids or bioflavonoids, substances that are not required for life but that may improve health. The major bioflavonoids found in fruits are diosmin, hesperidin, rutin, naringin, tangeretin, diosmetin, narirutin, neohesperidin, nobiletin, and quercetin.

Flexion: Bending a limb at the joint. For example, during flexion of the leg the knee is bent and the lower leg is brought backward.

Folliculitis: Inflammation of one or more follicles especially of the hair.

Fungal: Of or relating to fungus or fungi.

Fungus: A simple parasitic plant. Because it lacks chloroplasts and cannot manufacture its own food, it depends on other life forms to sustain itself.

Furuncle: A boil, or collection of pus in the dermis or subcutaneous fat. Species of staph are usually the causative agents.

Gangrene: Necrosis and death of tissue generally either from infections, venous insufficiency, severe injury.

Gene: The physical unit that carries characteristics from parent to child. See DNA.

Gentamicin: Antibiotic delivered either through direct muscular injection or commonly through intervenous application. Classed as a aminoglycoside antibiotic and are used commonly in urinary infections, but also used against a broad group of gram negative bacteria.

Genetic: Referring to information carried by DNA.

Genetic disorder: A condition caused by defective genes that may be passed from one generation to the next; also known as a hereditary condition.

Glycosaminoglycan: A protein-polysaccharide complex formed from proteoglycans and a large amount of polysaccharide (up to 95%).

Gram-negative bacteria: Types of bacteria, generally more resistant to standard anti-biotic treatment. Types include salmonella, enterobacteriaceae, pseudomonas, moraxella, helicobacter, stenotrophomonas, bdellovibrio.

Gram-positive bacteria: Broad range of generally well known bacterial types. Includes staph and strep. Generally responds well to standard antibiotic therapy.

Gram Stain: A method for differential staining of bacteria; smears are fixed by flaming, stained in a solution of crystal violet, treated with iodine solution, rinsed, decolorized, and then counterstained with safranin.

Granulocyte: A leukocyte that has granules in its cytoplasm.

Gynecomastia: Benign enlargement of the male breast resulting from the glandular component of the breast. Specifically it is a result of the estrogen-androgen hormonal balance changing to favor estrogen.

Hereditary: A physcial characteristic, condition or disease that is passed down from parent to offspring through the genetic sequence.

Hodgkin's disease: Hodgkin's disease, or Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of lymph tissue found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, and other sites.

Holistic medicine: The art and science of healing that addresses the whole person - body, mind, and spirit. Holistic medicine integrates conventional and alternative therapies to prevent and treat disease, and most importantly, to promote optimal health

Homans-Miller procedure: The Homans-Miller procedure first used in 1936 is a modification of the Kondolean Procedure using thin skin flaps to cover the resected area of the lymphodemous limb.

Homologous: Having the same evolutionary origin, but serving different functions.

Hydrated: The state of having adequate fluids in the body.

Hydrostatic: Of or concerned with fluids that are not in motion.

Hydrotherapy: In American English this term means applying a form of water to the body for therapeutic purposes that often includes the addition of herbs or oils and may be accompanied by a wrap. In British English, this term is used as a synonym for aquatic therapy. See Aquatic Therapy.

Hyperkeratosis: Hypertrophy of the horny layer of the epidermis.

Hyperplasia: Enlargement of a bodily organ or part resulting from an increase in the total number of cells.

Hypertension: Higher than normal or elevated blood pressure.

Hypoplasia: Incomplete development of an organ. Versus hyperplasia. Some use term in relationship to lack of lymphatic development.

Iatrogenic: A condition or disorder arising from a medical treatment. For example, secondary lymphedema occurring after cancer treatment.

Ichthyosis: A group of cutaneous disorders characterised by increased or aberrant keratinisation, resulting in noninflammatory scaling of the skin. Many different metaphors have been used to describe the appearance and texture of the skin in the various types and stages of ichthyosis, for example alligator, collodion, crocodile, fish and porcupine skin. most ichthyoses are genetically determined, while some may be acquired and develop in association with various systemic diseases or be a prominent feature in certain genetic syndromes.

Immune system: The bodily system that protects the body from foreign substances, cells, and tissues by producing the immune response and that includes especially the thymus, spleen, lymph nodes,lymphocytes including the B cells and T cells, and antibodies, basophiles, esinophils.

Impetigo: A common superficial bacterial infection caused by staphlococcus aureus or group A betahemolytic streptococci. Characteristics include thin, fragile vesicles and bullae which evolve pustules that rupture and discharge a thin, ambercolored fluid that dries and forms a honey-colored crust. This condition is most often seen in children and is located on the face,especially about the mouth and nose.

Induration: An area of hardened tissue.

Infectious Diease Doctor: A doctor in sub-specialty of the descipline of Internal Medicine. Focused on the research, treatment, cure and management of infectious diseases and infections. These physcians are a vital part of the health, well being and survival of lymphedema patients.

Inguinal nodes: Lymph nodes found in the groin region of both sides of the body.

Intact skin: Healthy skin in which there are no breaks, scrapes, cuts, or abnormal openings that allow pathogens to enter.

Intensive: The phase of lymphedema treatment during which the patient is treated daily for a period of time based on the patient’s needs; also known as an intervention.

Intercellular fluid: The fluid between cells in tissues. Also called interstitial fluid.

Interstitial fluid: The fluid between cells in tissues. Referred to as the liquid subtance of the body.

Interstitial space: The fluid filled areas that surround the cells of a given tissue; also known as tissue space.

Intervention: The phase of lymphedema treatment during which the patient is treated daily for a period of time based on the patient’s needs; also known as an intensive.

Ipsilateral: On the same side. Compare with contralateral.

IV antibiotic: Antibiotics delivered thru either a standard IV line, a pic-ine or a chest port. Generally used for resistantbacterial infections, systemic infections or infections in immuno-compromised individual where rapid treatment is needed. Examples include Unisyn, Gentamicin, Invanz.

Karyotype: An organized profile of a person's chromosomes that helps scientists identify chromosal alterations that may result in a genetic disorder such as Turner Syndrome. This information is commonly based on cells obtained from a blood sample.

Kawasaki Disease: Disease of unknown origin, generally affecting infants and children. Symptons include reddish macular rash, conjunctivitis, inflammation of mucous membranes, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, swelling (edema) of the feet and hands.

Keflex: Keflex is a semisynthetic cephalosporin antibiotic intended for oral administration. A broad spectrum antibiotice it is effective against a great number of bacteria, it is also one of the most commonly used antibiotic by lymphedema patients for treatment of cellulitis, lymphangitis and other infections.

Keloid: An abnormally large or thick scar.

Klinefelter's Syndrome: A chromosome abnormality that affects only men and causes hypogonadism. In this condition a male normally has 2 XX chromosones has XXY chromosone.

Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome: Unsual type of hereditary lymphedema associated with localized overgrowth of bone and soft tissue of a limb or portion of the trunk. Other indications may be venous malformations, hemangiomas, port-wine stains, other lymph or vascular abnormalities.

Kondolean Procedure: One of the earliest procedures is the Kondolean procedure (1912). It involves resection of subcutaneous lymphedematous tissue as well as creating a fascial window as a means of establishing communication between the superficial and deep lymphatics.

Laminin: A large glycoprotein component of the basement membrane.

Laser: (acronym for Light Amplicationnby Stimulated Emission of Radiation) Coherent light beam within a narrow range of wavelengths.

Large Granular Lymphocyte: White blood cells that kill tumor- and virus-infected cells as part of the body's immune system.

Lateral: Toward the side or away from the middle of the body. The lateral surfaces of the legs are the outer sides away from where the knees touch.

LDT: (acronmym for Lymph Drainage Therapy) Left drainage area: Lymph drains into the thoract duct from this area which includes left side of the head and neck plus the upper left and lower left and right quadrants of the body.

Leishmania: Parasitic infection spread thru a genus of sand fleas. May effect lymph nodes if the parasite spreads into it.

Lesion: A wound, injury or other destructive change in body tissue. Most commonly referred as respects the skin. These may be a wound, sore, rash or boil. Acts as a entry foci for bacterial infections.

Leukocyte: WBC, white blood cell, white blood corpuscle, white cell.

Leukocyte Count: A count of the number of white blood cells per unit volume in venous blood. A differential leukocyte count measures the relative numbers of the different types of white cells.

Leukocytosis: An abnormal increase in the number of circulating white blood cells.

Leukopenia: A condition in which the number of leukocytes circulating in the blood is abnormally low and which is most commonly due to a decreased production of new cells in conjunction with various infectious diseases, as a reaction to various drugs or other chemicals, or in response to irradiation.

Lipid: Fats

Lipophilic: Able to dissolve, be dissolved in, or absorb lipids (fats).

Lipoedema: Edema of subcutaneous fat, causing painful swellings, especially of the legs in women. see Cellulite.

Lipoprotein: Any of a large class of proteins composed of a complex of protein and fat

Liposome: Artificial, single or multilaminar vesicles (made from lecithins or other lipids) that are used for the delivery of a variety of biological molecules or molecular complexes to cells, for example, drug delivery and gene transfer. They are also used to study membranes and membrane proteins.

Lipoprotein Very Low Denisity (VLDL): A class of lipoproteins that transport triglycerides from the intestine and liver to adipose and muscle tissues.

Liposarcoma: A rare cancer of the fat cells.

Localized Immuno-deficiency: An area of the body wherein theimmune system may be limited or restricted in its response to a pathogen. Lymphodemous limbs are considered such causing increased susceptibility to infections.

Locus: The specific site of a particular gene on its chromosome.

Long-stretch bandages: Specialized bandages, similar to an Ace bandage, that have 100 to 200% stretch. This type of bandage is used are part of the treatment of CVI in wheelchair bound patients.

Low grade lymphoma: A type of lymphoma that tends to grow and spread slowly, and has few symptoms. Also called indolent lymphoma.

Low impact exercises: Activities, such as walking or swimming, in which one foot always stays on the floor and supports the weight of the body. (Compare with high impact exercises.)

Low-stretch bandage: Specialized bandages, with 30 to 90% stretch, that are used to obtain the correct compression during the treatment of lymphedema; also known as short-stretch bandages.

Lumen: The opening within a blood or lymph vessel from which fluid flows.

Lumpectomy: The removal of the cancerous breast tissue plus a margin of healthy tissue.

Lurtotecan: An anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called topoisomerase inhibitors.

Lutetium texaphyrin: A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer using photodynamic therapy. It belongs to the family of drugs called metallotexaphyrins. Also called motexafin lutetium.

LY231514: A drug that is used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma and advanced non-small cell lung cancer and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called enzyme inhibitors. Also called Alimta and pemetrexed disodium.

LY293111: A substance that is being studied as a treatment for cancer. It belongs to the family of drugs called leukotriene B4 receptor antagonists.

LY317615: A substance that is being studied in the treatment of cancer. It belongs to the families of drugs called protein kinase C inhibitors and angiogenesis inhibitors. Also called enzastaurin.

LY335979: A substance that is being studied for its ability to reverse resistance to chemotherapy. Also called zosuquidar trihydrochloride.

LY353381 hydrochloride: A hormone substance used in the treatment of some types of cancer.

Lymph: The almost colourless fluid that bathes body tissues and is found in the lymphatic vessels that drain the tissues of the fluid that filters across the blood vessel walls from blood. Lymph carries lymphocytes that have entered the lymph nodes from the blood.

Lymph capillary: The beginning of the lymphatic system of vessels.

Lymph cell: White cell of the blood. Derived from either T or B lymphocytes.

Lymph circulation: Flow of lymph "fluid" through the lymphatics. Obstruction of this flow results in lymphedema.

Lymph cords: Cord's of dense lymphoid tissue between the sinuses in the medulla of a lymph node.

Lymph corpuscle: A mononuclear type of leukocyte formed in lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissue.

Lymph drainage therapy: (LDT) A system of manual lymphatic drainage developed by Dr. Bruno Chikly.

Lymph embolism: Embolism occurring in the lymph node. May be causd by variety of factors, generally toxin build up from infection.

Lymph follicle: Another term for lymph node or nodule.Lymph glands: Another name for lymph nodes.

Lymph heart: A contractile muscular expansion of a lymphatic vessel in some lower vertebrates that serves to drive the lymph toward the veins.

Lymph nodes: Small bean-shaped organs of the immune system, distributed widely throughout the body and linked by lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes are garrisons of B, T, and other immune cells. (Read about "The Lymph System").

Lymph node dissection: Surgery to remove some or all of the lymph nodes in an area. A surgical procedure in which the lymph nodes are removed and examined to see whether they contain cancer. For a regional lymph node dissection, some of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed; for a radical lymph node dissection, most or all of the lymph nodes in the tumor area are removed. Also called lymphadenectomy. See also sentinel node biopsy.

Lymph node drainage: The flow of lymph from an area of tissue into a particular lymph node.

Lymph node excision: Surgical excision of one or more lymph nodes. Its most common use is in cancer surgery.

Lymph node of azygos arch: A lymph node of the posterior mediastinal group located adjacent to the arch of the azygos vein.

Lymph node of ligamentum arteriosum: A lymph node of the anterior mediastinal group located adjacent to the ligamentum arteriosum.

Lymph node mapping: The use of radioactive substance to identify lymph nodes that contain cancer cells, used in lymphedema to ascertain the exact location of a lymphatic blockage

Lymph node permeability factor: A substance, released by lymphocytes when stimulated or damaged, that increases capillary permeability and the accumulation of mononuclear cells.

Lymph nodes of abdominal regions: The numerous lymph nodes receiving lymph from abdominal organs located in association with the visceral branches of the aorta.

Lymph nodes of elbow: Two groups of nodes, superficial and deep, lying along the basilic vein above the medial epicondyle; they receive afferents from the ulnar side of the forearm and hand, and send efferents to the brachial nodes.

Lymph nodule: Small, localized collection of lymphoid tissue, usually located in the loose connective tissue beneath wet epithelial (covering or lining) membranes, as in the digestive system, respiratory system, and urinary bladder. Lymph nodules form in regions of frequent exposure to microorganisms or foreign materials and contribute to the defense against them.

Lymph sacs: The earliest lymphatic vessels formed in the embryo.

Lymph scrotum: Brawny swelling of the scrotum as a result of chronic lymphatic obstruction.

Lymph sinus: The channels in a lymph node crossed by a reticulum of cells and fibres and bounded by littoral cells; there are subcapsular, trabecular, and medullary sinus's.

Lymph space: A space, in tissue or a vessel, filled with lymph.

Lymph System: When sickness or infection invades the body, the immune system is the first line of defense. A big part of that defense is the lymph system.

Lymph: A part of the interstitial fluid, the fluid which lies in the interstices of all body tissues.

Lymph varix: The formation of varices or cysts in the lymph nodes in consequence of obstruction in the efferent lymphatics.

Lymph veins: Larger lymph vessels that are formed when several lymph capillaries join together; also known as lymphatics.

Lymphadectomy: Removal or excision of lymph nodes. Commonly used in cancer biopsy.

Lymphadenitis: An infection of the lymph nodes (also called lymph glands). It is a common complication of certain bacterial infections.

Lymphadenography: Radiographic visualization of lymph nodes after injection of a contrast medium; lymphography. Generally used in diagnosis of lymphedema.

Lymphadenoid: Relating to, or resembling, or derived from a lymph node.

Lymphadenoid goiter: Inflammation of the thyroid gland without the formation of pus. Noninfectious nonbacterial thyroid inflammation.

Lymphademona: Lymphatic tumor. See lymphoma, Hodkins Disease. Also may be define as an abornally enlarged lymph node.

Lymphadenectomy: the surgical removal of one or more groups of lymph nodes. It is almost always performed as part of the surgical management of cancer.

Lymphadenomatosis: An obsolete term for a condition characterised by the presence of several to numerous enlarged lymph nodes, as in lymphosarcoma or Hodgkin's disease.

Lymphadenopathy: Any disease process that affects the lymph nodes; also known as swollen glands. This condition is usually an indication that an infection or other pathology is present.

Lymphadenopathy syndrome: (LAS) A persistant swelling of the lymph nodes, which is often associated with the or a part of the AIDS-related syndrome.

Lymphadenosis: The basic underlying proliferative process that results in enlargement of lymph nodes, as in lymphocytic leukaemia and certain inflammations.

Lymphadenovarix: Varicose deformity of a lymph node associated with lymphangiectasis.

Lymphangial: Of or relating to a lymphatic vessel.

Lymphangiectasia: Type of lymphatic malformation that results in the dilation of the lymphatics. Generally is expressed in the intestinal region, pulmonary/lungs.

Lymphangiogram: Early, outdated test for determining lymphatic obstruction. Replaced by lymphoscintigraphy.

Lymphangiography: A diagnostic procedure of the lymphatic system that involves an injection of contrast medium followed by a series of radiographic exposures; also known a lymph node angiogram. The purpose of the contrast medium is to make the lymph vessels and nodes visible on the radiographs (x-rays).

Lymphangioma: A tumor formed of dilated lymphatic vessels. Generally tan-yellowish in color and is composed of dilated lymph vessels. Also called Angioma lymphaticum.

Lymphangioma Cavernosum: A tumor formed by dilated lymphatic vessels and filled with lymph that is often mixed with coagulated blood. The lesion may cause extensive enlargement of the affected tissue.

Lymphangioma circumscriptum: A skin lesion that develops fromenlarged lymph vessels. Most commonly seen in young children, it maybe pink or yellow and may grow to several centimeters in size.

Lymphangion: A segment of lymphatic vessel located between two valves; also known as an angion. The constrictions at the valves create the “string of pearls” appearance of a lymph vein.

Lymphangiophlebitis: Inflammation of the lymphatic vessels and the veins.

Lymphangioplasty: Surgical alteration of lymphatic vessels

Lymphangiosarcoma: A sarcoma arising from the endothelial cells of lymphatic vessels.

Lymphangitis: An inflammation of a lymphatic vessel.

Lymphangitis: Infection that is often caused by bacterial infection and can be treated with antibiotics. Effects the lymph nodes. See also cellulitis.

Lymphagogue: An agent that increases the formation and flow of lymph.

Lymphangioendothelioma: A tumor consisting of irregular groups of endothelial cells with aggregates of tubate structures possibly derived from lymphatic vessels.

Lymphangiogesis: The formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing lymphatic vessels, in a method believed to be similar to blood vessel development or angiogenesis.

Lymphangiology: The branch of medical science concerned with the lymphatic system. Also called lymphology.

Lymphangiotomy: Incision of lymphatic vessels.

Lymphatic basin: A group of lymph nodes that receives and filters lymph that flows from a certain area of the body. Special dyes may be used to stain and identify the lymphatic basin in the tissues around a tumor, so that lymph nodes that may contain cancer can be removed and checked by a pathologist.

Lymphatic capillaries: A fine mesh-like network of tiny blind-ended tubes distributed in the tissue spaces and just under the skin.

Lymphatic capillary plexus: One of the network of small lymphatic vessels that collects lymph from the lakes of fluid that leak from tissue cells. The plexuses are especially abundant in skin but also lace other areas, such as the mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive systems, testes, ovaries, liver, kidney and heart. See also lymphatic system.

Lymphatic ducts: The right lymphatic duct and the thoracic duct that return lymph to the circulatory system.

Lymphatic Edema: Edema due to obstruction of lymph vessels or disorders of the lymph nodes. See also Lymphedema

Lymphatic filariasis: The form of lymphedema that is caused by thread-like parasitic worms; also known as elephantiasis.

Lymphatic fluid: The clear fluid found outside the cells which bathes the tissues. It is collected, filtered, and transported by the lymphatic system from around the tissues to the blood circulatory system.

Lymphatic Gland: Small, bean-shaped organs located along the channels of the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes store special cells that can trap bacteria or cancer cells traveling through the body in lymph. Clusters of lymph nodes are found in the underarms, groin, neck, chest, and abdomen. Also called lymph glands.

Lymphatic mapping: The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify lymph nodes that may contain tumor cells. Also called lymph node mapping. See lymphoscintography

Lymphatic plexus: A network of lymphatic capillaries that usually lack valves and join to form one or more larger lymphatic vessels that drain to lymph nodes.

Lymphatic system: The interconnected system of spaces and vessels between body tissues and organs by which lymph circulates throughout the body. System that is damaged or impaired resulting in lymphedema.

Lymphatic trunks: The largest lymphatic vessels that transport lymph to the lymphatic ducts.

Lymphatic vessels: A bodywide network of channels, similar to the blood vessels, which transport lymph to the immune organs and into the bloodstream.

Lymphatic Watersheds: Areas of the body and underlying tissues which drain through lymphatic vessels in a particular direction, similar to how "watersheds" in mountainous forest regions draining toward one or another river.

Lymphatics: Larger lymph vessels that are formed when several lymph capillaries join together; also known as lymph veins.Lymphatic: Pertaining to lymph or hte lymph system.

Lymphatic vessel: A vessel that contains or conveys lymph, that originates as an interfibrillar or intercellular cleft or space in a tissue or organ, and that if small has no distinct walls or walls composed only of endothelial cells and if large resembles a vein in structure -- called also lymphatic vessel, lymph vessel -- see thoractic duct.

Lymphedema: Lymphedema is swelling caused by the buildup of too much lymph fluid in the tissues. It usually affects the arms or legs, but can occur in other parts of the body as well. There are two types of lymphedema:

Primary lymphedema can occur when lymph nodes or vessels are missing or impaired.Secondary lymphedema can result when lymph nodes or vessels are damaged or removed.What Causes It? Primary lymphedema, which is not common, can be present at birth, occur at puberty or in adulthood, all from unknown causes or may be associated with vascular anomalies, such as hemangioma or lymphangioma, according to the National Lymphedema Network. It can affect from one to all four limbs, and/or other parts of the body.

Secondary lymphedema, which is much more common, can result from surgery, radiation, infection or trauma. It is usually related to cancer treatment, particularly surgeries in which the lymph nodes are removed.(Read about "Cancer Treatments")Removing lymph nodes and vessels changes the flow of the lymph fluid, making circulation more difficult. If not enough fluid can be removed from an area, the excess builds up and causes swelling. Radiation treatment can affect the flow of fluid in the same way, thus increasing the risk of secondary lymphedema.

Lymphedema can develop after surgery or radiation for any kind of cancer, but most often develops with treatment of breast cancer, prostate cancer, pelvic area cancers, lymphoma or melanoma, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). (Read about "Breast Cancer", "The Prostate", "Pap Tests and Cervical Cancer", "Lymphoma" and melanoma in "Skin Cancer")If lymphedema occurs after breast cancer treatment, it usually affects the breast area, underarm, or arm on the side of surgery.

After cancer treatment to the abdomen, lymphedema can cause swelling of the abdomen, genitals or one or both legs, according to ACS. It can develop right after surgery, or weeks, months or even years later.Lymphedema can be very uncomfortable. The fluid buildup and swelling can cause the area to become hot, and the skin hard and stiff.

There are several signs that could indicate the onset of lymphedema.The signs or symptoms of lymphedema may include:A feeling or fullness or heaviness in the arm or leg. A feeling of tightness in the skin of an arm or leg. Decreased movement or flexibility in the hand, wrist or ankle.Difficulty fitting into clothing in one specific area. Tight fitting of a ring, watch or bracelet though you haven't gained weight.If any of these symptoms lasts more than a week or two, or you notice persistent swelling, you may want to talk to your doctor, especially if you have had lymph nodes removed or had radiation treatment.

Prevention & Control Lymphedema is a very serious condition. Besides being uncomfortable and sometimes painful, if left untreated it can cause debilitating weakness in the limbs, interfere with the healing of wounds and lead to infection. There is no cure for lymphedema and once it develops it can be a long-term condition requiring daily treatment.

Although there is no scientific evidence that people can prevent lymphedema, most experts recommend some basic guidelines, which may lower the risk of developing lymphedema or delay its onset.The following are some suggestions for care from ACS. The most important thing is to try to avoid any infections, or burns or injuries to the affected area. The body responds to these by making extra lymph fluid, which can lead to lymphedema.

Keep the area/limb clean and moisturized.Avoid cuts, scratches, burns, hangnails and insect bites. (Read about "Insect Bites")

Treat any of these by washing, using an antibacterial cream and clean bandage. (Read about "Wound Care")

Use an electric shaver, which is less likely to cut the skin. Use insect repellent and sunscreen when outdoors. (Read about "Sunscreen")

Wear protective gloves when working in the garden or kitchen. Exercise regularly, but don't fatigue the affected limb. Your doctor can help you develop an exercise program. (Read about "Getting Started on Fitness")

Wear loose-fitting clothing and jewelry.Avoid heavy lifting and pulling. If your arm is affected, avoid using shoulder straps on briefcases or purses.

Also, have blood drawn, IV's and shots given in the unaffected arm. If your leg is affected, wear well-fitting closed shoes; don't go barefoot.

Also, avoid socks or stockings with tight elastic bands. Report any redness, swelling, increased heat or tightness to your doctor.
















































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Lymphedema-Hypoparathyroidism Syndrome: The major diagnostic criteria for this syndrome include congenital lymphedema—which develops soon after birth, hypoparathyroidism, nephropathy, mitral valve prolapse, and brachytelephalangy.

Lymphedema praecox: Hereditary form of lymphedema. Generally expresses itself in the teen or puberty years - see Meige Disease.

Lymphedema Primary: Considered to be the herditary forms of lymhpedema. Caused by genetic breaks or malformations.

Lymphedema Secondary: Type of lymhpedema generally caused by node removal for cancer biopsy, radiation damage due to cancer therapy, trauma, injury or infections that damage the lymphatic system or lymph nodes.

Lymphedema tarda: Herditary lymphedema, Type III. Generally expresses itself betwen 20 and 50 years of age.Lymphitis: General term used as relating to lymphadenitis.

Lymphoblast: An immature lymphocyte.

Lymphoblastic Leukemia: A form of lymphocytic leukemia in which the abnormal cells in the circulating blood are almost totally lymphoblasts.

Lymphocytapheresis: Removal of lymphocytes from donated blood, with the remainder of the blood retransfused into the donor

Lymphocytes: White blood cells which include T-cells, B-cells, and natural killer (NK) cells. They should account for between 15% and 49% of the total white blood cell count. Viral infections can either increase or decrease the total percentage of lymphocytes. Function is of body defense in fightingdisease and/or infections.

Lymphocyte blastogenic factor: A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that stimulates the growth of certain disease-fighting blood cells in the immune system. These substances are normally produced by the body. Aldesleukin is IL-2 that is made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases. See Also - Interleukin-2, epidermal thymocyte activiating factor, IL-2, IL2, T-cell growth factor, T-cell stimulating factor, TSF

Lymphocyte mitogenic factor: A type of biological response modifier (a substance that can improve the body's natural response to infection and disease) that stimulates the growth of certain disease-fighting blood cells in the immune system. These substances are normally produced by the body. Aldesleukin is IL-2 that is made in the laboratory for use in treating cancer and other diseases.

Lymphocytic Leukemia: Leukemia that is characterized by the enlargement of lymphoid tissues and lymphoid cells in the circulating blood system.

Lymphocytic Lymphoma: A cancer of lymphatic tissues; the tumor cells are mostly abnormal lymphocytes.

Lymphocytopenia: A smaller than normal number of white cells (lymphocytes) in the blood circulation, occuring as a blood disorder or in association with nutritional deficiency, cancer, or infectious mononulceosis.

Lymphocytosis: A rapid reproduction of certain white blood cells (lymphocytes) as occurs in chronic diseases and in recovery from acute infections.

Lymphoepithelioma: A type of cancer that begins in the tissues covering the nasopharynx (the upper part of the throat behind the nose).

Lymphogenic: Connected with, or formed in, the lymphatic glands.

Lymphography: An x-ray study of lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels made visible by the injection of a special dye.See also: lymphoscintography

Lymphokine: A chemical factor produced and released by T-lymphocytes (thymocytes). It attracts bacteria-destroying cells (macrophages) to the site of infection or inflammation and prepares them for attack.

Lymphoid organs: The organs of the immune system, where lymphocytes develop and congregate. They include the bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes, spleen (Read about "The Spleen"), and various other clusters of lymphoid tissue. The blood vessels and lymphatic vessels can also be considered lymphoid organs.

Lymphokines: Powerful chemical substances secreted by lymphocytes. These soluble molecules help direct and regulate the immune responses. Lymphokine: Activated killer cell: A white blood cell that is stimulated in a laboratory to kill tumor cells. Also called an LAK cell.

Lymphoma: Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph system. Lymphoma is broken down into two major types: Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. You can read more about the symptoms and treatment in Lymphoma.

Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma: An indolent (slow-growing) type of non-Hodgkin?s lymphoma marked by abnormal levels of IgM antibodies in the blood and an enlarged liver, spleen, or lymph nodes. Also called Waldenstein macroglobulinemia.

Lymphoproliferative Disorder: A disease in which cells of the lymphatic ststem grow excessively. Lymphoproliferative disorders are often treated like cancer.

Lymphoreticular system: The tissues and organs that produce, store, and carry white blood cells that fight infections and other diseases. This system includes the bone marrow, spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels (a network of thin tubes that carry lymph and white blood cells). Lymphatic vessels branch, like blood vessels, into all the tissues of the body. See Also - Lymphatic System

Lymphorrhea: Protein rich fluid that weeps from open areas of a lymphodemous limb. Caustic affect on surrounding skin tissue.

Lymphoscintigraphy: Diagnostic radiological test generally used for lymphedema. A radioactive tracer substance is injection into the lymphatics. The test can identify the functionality of the lymph system or identify points of obstruction.

Machrophage: A large white blood cell, derived from monocytes (a subclass of Mononuclear Leukocytes ). Properties include phagocytosis and antigen presentation to T-cells . Macrophages contain granules or packets of chemicals and enzymes (such as IL1 ) which serve the purpose of ingesting and destroying microbes, antigens and other foreign substances. Macrophages are not found in the bloodstream but at locations where body organs interface with the environment or the bloodstream. For example, in the lungs, spleen , bone marrow and liver. Similar cells in the blood are the monocytes.

Mastectomy: The removal of the entire breast and the adjacent lymph nodes.

Matrix: A surrounding substance within which something is contained or embedded.

Matrixectomy: The removal of all, or part, of a finger or toenail.

Medial: Toward the middle or midline of the body. The medial surfaces of the legs are the sides where the knees touch.

Meige disease: The form of primary lymphedema in which the symptoms begin at the time of puberty; also known as lymphedema praecox.

Meige Lymphedema: Hereditary lymphedema, known as Type II. Onset usually occurs between second to fifth decade. Affected areas are usually the legs.

Mesenteric node: Any of the lymphatic glands of the mesentery -- called also mesenteric gland, mesenteric lymph node.

MLD: Manual Lymph Drainage A gentle manual form of lymphatic drainage using a massage technique that moves lymph fluid out of an affected area. see also Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

Micocephaly: A rare, neurological disorder in which the circumference of the head is smaller than the average for the age and gender of the infant or child. Associated with hereditary, familial lymphedema.

Microfilariae: Inmature filarial worms that are found in the bloodstream of an infected individual. See Lymphatic Filariasis.

Microphthalmos: Abormal smallness of one or both eyes. Associated with hereditary familial lymphedema.

Milroy's disease: The form of primary lymphedema that is present from birth; also known as congenital lymphedema or Nonne-Milroys disease.

Monocyte: A white blood cell which can ingest dead or damaged cells (through phagocytosis) and provide immunological defences against many infectious organisms. Monocytes migrate into tissues and develop into macrophages.

Mononuclear Leukocytes: Monocytes, leukocytes

Mucocutaneous lymph node disease: see Kawasaki Disease

Muff: A small compression aid filled with foam chips that is worn over areas of fibrotic tissue to breakdown the hardening of the tissue.

Mycetoma: A condition marked by invasion of the deep subcutaneous tissues with fungi or actinomycetes.

Mycetomatous: A tumorous mass occurring in mycetoma.

Myeloblast: A precursor of leukocytes that normally occurs only in bone marrow.

Myelocyte: An immature leukocyte normally found in bone marrow.

Myofibroblast: A cell, which, due to its contractile properties, is able to aid in the contraction of wounds. It may also form Type III collagen.

Nail beds: The underlying connective tissue that nourishes the finger and toenails.

Neutrophil: The larger and physiologically most numerous class of infection-fighting white blood cells, characteristically even more numerous in generalised bacterial infections.

Non-ambulatory: Unable to walk. Compare with ambulatory

Noone-Milroy's Syndrome: A synonym for Milroy's disease. Hereditary lymphedema Type 1. Often expresses itself from birth. Generally includes swelling of the legs, with possible genital involvment.

Noonan Syndrome: Hereditary lymphedema similar in manifestation to Turner Syndrome. Symptoms mail include hyperplastic nails, right sided cardiac abnormalities. Differs from Truenr's in that affects males and females equally.

Onychomycosis: A fungal infection of a finger or toenail.

Papillomatosis: A disorder with numerous papillomas wart growths). For example, laryngeal papillomatosis is the presence of multiple papillomas on the vocal cords. It is most common in young children an is due to the human papilloma virus (HPV). A baby can get HPV by being born through a vaginal canal of a mother with genital warts which are also due to HPV.

Pathogens: Disease producing organisms including bacteria, fungus, parasites, and viruses.

Pathophysiology: Derangement of function seen in disease; alteration in function as distinguished from structural defects.

Penicillin: The world's first antibiotic. Discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. It is produced from the penicillin notatum mold. Broad range in its ability to treat both gram negative and gram postive bacteria.

Pericardial effusion: A collection of fluid or blood in the pericardial space (inside the pericardial sac) around the heart. Some causes include congestive heart failure, cancer and autoimmune disease.

Perivascular: Surrounding a blood or a lymph vessel.

Phlebolymphedema: Term used to describe the edema that is caused by chronic venous insuffiency or varices, varaicophlebitis and complications involving venous pressure flow rates.

Photo-phobia: Pain in the eye resulting from exposure to bright lights. Associated with lymphedema with distichiasis.

Pitting edema: When a swollen area is pressed, the pressure leaves an indentation (pit) that takes time to fill back in.

Plasma: The straw-colored liquid portion of the blood that carries nutrients, hormones, and waste products to and from the cells.

Pleural effusion: An exudation of fluid from the blood or lymph into a pleural cavity 2 : an exudate in a pleural cavity - see also pleural edema.

Plexuses: Group of joined nerves, blood vessels, or lymph vessels.

Polymorphnuclear leukocytes: Neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils.

Portal of entry: A break in the skin through which pathogens are able to enter the body.

Primary lymphedema: An inherited form of lymphedema that affects both males and females and can develop at any time of life.

Proteoglycans: Glycosaminoglycans bound to protein chains, which form the extracellular matrix of connective tissue.

Ptosis: Drooping eyelids. Associated with hereidtary lymphedema.

Quadrant: Division into four. When describing the body, it means the one fourth of the body including the attached limb.

Range of motion: The change in joint position that is produced by muscle movements; also known as ROM.

Right drainage area: Lymph drains into the right lymphatic duct from this area which includes right side of the head and neck plus the upper right quadrant of the body.

Right lymphatic duct: The lymphatic duct which is about about 1.25 cm. in length, courses along the medial border of the Scalenus anterior at the root of the neck and ends in the right subclavian vein, at its angle of junction with the right internal jugular vein. Its orifice is guarded by two semilunar valves, which prevent the passage of venous blood into the duct.

Scalded skin syndrome: Dermal infection caused by staphlococcal bacterium. see also Toxis Epidermal Necrolysis

Secondary lymphedema: The form of lymphedema that is caused by the cancer treatment, burns, or injuries that result in damage to the lymphatic system.

Self-massage: A form of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) that is performed by the patient, or a helper, between lymphedema treatments.

Sentinel node biopsy: A newer procedure performed in order to determine whether breast cancer has spread to auxiliary (underarm) lymph nodes. A blue radioactive tracer and/or blue dye is injected into the area of the breast tumor. The lymphatic vessels carry the dye or radioactive material, to a "sentinel node". This sentinel node is thought to be the first lymph node receiving fluid from the tumor and the one most likely to contain cancer cells if the cancer has spread. Only if the sentinel node contains cancer cells are more lymph nodes removed.

Sentinel node: The first lymph node to which a tumor drains and therefore is the first place to which cancer is likely to spread.

Sepsis: A systemic inflammatory response to an infection.

Septicemia: Invasion of the bloodstream by virulent microorganisms from a focus of infection that is accompanied by chills, fever, and prostration and often by the formation of secondary abscesses in various organs -- called also blood poisoning.

Septic shock: A life-threatening severe form of sepsis that usually results from the presence of gram-negative bacteria and their toxins in the bloodstream. Eventually leads to organ failure and death.

Short-stretch bandage: Specialized bandages, with 30 to 90% stretch, that are used to obtain the correct compression during the treatment of lymphedema; also known as low-stretch bandages.

Shotty lymph nodes: Clusters of small swollen lymph nodes that may occur when the immune system is reacting to an infection. These nodes are so named because they feel like buckshot under the skin.

Sistrunk procedure: Surgery first done in 1918 is an ablative procedure like the Charles procedure, after which the resected areas are covered with skin flaps.

Shunt: An internally placed connector or micro tubing that allows fluid (lymph, blood) to flow between two locations

Skin: The body's front line of defense against pathogens. Compsed of 2layers. It consists of an outer ectodermal epidermis that is more or less cornified and penetrated by the openings of sweat and sebaceous glands and an inner mesodermal dermis that is composed largely of connective tissue and is richly supplied with blood vessels and nerves.

Skin contractures: The shrinking of skin tissue due to burns, radiation therapy, or an extended period of inactivity.

Skin tag: A small soft pendulous growth on the skin especially around the eyes or on the neck, armpits, or groin. Also referred to a cutaneous papilloma.

Spleen: Highly vascular ductless abdominal lymphoid organ that resembles a gland in organization but is closely associated with the circulatory system, that plays a role in the final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood, and production of lymphocytes.

Stage 1: Lymphedema in which the edema consists of protein-rich fluid and the tissues are soft to the touch. Pressure leaves an indentation that is known as pitting edema.

Stage 2: Lymphedema in which edema and fibrosis of the tissues are present. The tissues are no longer soft to the touch and pressure leaves only a light indentation.

Stage 3: Lymphedema in which there is a major increase in the amount of swelling and the tissues hang in folds. The skin hardens and begins breaking down, fibrosis is more extensive, and the amount of fat tissue increases.

Staphylococcus aureus: A species of bacteria that are commonly found on the skin and mucous membranes. These bacteria cause pus-producing infections, cellulitis, and life-threatening sepsis.

Stemmer's sign: A diagnostic test that involves tenting (pinching) the skin on the upper surface of the toes. In a negative result, which is characteristic of lipedema, it is possible to grasp a thin fold of tissue. In a positive result, which is characteristic of lymphedema, it is only possible to grasp a lump of tissue.

Streptococcus: A genus of spherical or ovoid chiefly nonmotile and parasitic gram-positive bacteria (family Streptococcaceae) that divide only in one plane, occur in pairs or chains, and include important pathogens of humans and domestic animals.

Subclavian vein: A part of a major vein of the upper extremities or forelimbs that passes beneath the clavicle and is continuous with the axillary vein.

Subcutaneous: The subcutaneous tissue is the third of the three layers of skin. The subcutaneous layer contains fat and connective tissue that houses larger blood vessels and nerves. This layer is important is the regulation of temperature of the skin itself and the body. The layer that becomes filled with fluid as a result of lymphedema.

Subcutaneous port: An implanteded device in the subcutaneous region through which blood may be withdrawn and infusions given without repeated needle sticks.

Sulfa Drugs: A class of synthetic substances derived from sulfanilamide or paraaminobenzenesulfonamide. They are used to treat bacterial infections.

Swollen glands: Term used to describe the swelling or enlargement of the lymph nodes in response to infection, illness or inflammation.

Syndrome: Group of signs that occur together and are particiular to a specific disease or condition.

Systemic: Affecting the entire body system. Generally used to refer to infections when bacterium has invaded blood system.

T cell: Lymphocyte that is involved in involved in the control of initiating ur suppresiing the body's immune response to a pathogen, commonly referred to as helper cells

Terminus: The triangular area at the base of the neck, just above the collarbones, where the lymph returns to the circulatory system by flowing into the subclavian veins.

Thompson's Procedure: Modified version of the Charles' Procedure. After debulking, a flap of skin was sewn into the muscle of the limb with expectations that this would draw lymphatic fluids into the muscle.

Thoracic duct: The common trunkof all the lymphatic vessels in the body, except those onthe right side of the head, the neck, the chest, the right upper limb, the right lung, the right side of the heart, and in the diaphragmatic surface of the heart.

Thymus: Lymphoid gland that functions in cell mediated immunity. The site where white blood cells develop - see also Thymus gland.

Tinea pedis: Skin infection caused by a kind of mold called a fungus commonly referred to as Athlete's Feet.

Tissue fluid: The fluid in spaces between the tissue cells, constituting about 16% of the weight of the body; closely similar in composition to lymph.

Tissue space: The fluid filled areas that surround the cells of a given tissue; also known as interstitial space. Introduction to the Lymphatic System.

Tonsils: Either of a pair of prominent masses of lymphoid tissue that lie one on each side of the throat.

Trauma: A wound or injury.

Transudation: Passage of a fluid or solute through a membrane by a hydrostatic or osmotic pressure gradient.

Turner syndrome: A chromosomal condition, which affects only females, has as its most common characteristics short stature and the lack of ovarian development; however TS also has a variety of other associated physical problems that may include lymphedema.

Unasyn: An injectable antibacterial combination consisting of the semisynthetic antibiotic ampicillin sodium and the beta-lactamase inhibitor sulbactam sodium for intravenous and intramuscular administration.

Vector: An insect, such as a mosquito or tick, that is capabile of transmitting a disease

Viscera: Internal organs enclosed within a body cavity such as the abdomen.

Vitamin: Organic substance used as a catalyst for the bodies metabloci processes.

Yeast Infection: Fungal infection in women of the vaginal area, in men of the penis. Anyone under long term antibiotic therapy is susceptible.

[b]Lymphomatoid granulomatosis:

Basic glossary information provided courtesy of the website Lymphedema People found at www.lymphedemapeople.com.

Bellisse
Body Mass Index
here are treatments for lymphedema, which can help reduce the swelling and prevent it from worsening. The treatment will depend on the cause.

If lymphedema develops because of infection, the first course of treatment may be antibiotics, which can reduce the swelling and redness.If the lymphedema is not caused by infection, your doctor can help develop a treatment plan for you.

The treatment is usually performed by a physical therapist or other specialist who has specific training in this area. The treatment is often called Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) and consists of skin care, massage, exercise, special bandaging, manual drainage and compression garments. The sooner treatment is started, the better.

Seeing your doctor right away can mean a shorter course of treatment to get the lymphedema under control.
Aromatherapy
Glossary of Lymphedema Terms
         
         

Lymphatic System

Information provided by the South Florida Lymphedema Network is solely for educational purposes and does not replace the advice or guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. If you have a problem or issue, we urge you to contact your doctor and discuss the matter with them.

In an effort to insure that the information provided on this web site is up-to-date and accurate, we contact organizations involved in providing Lymphedema information and support and we scour the Internet seeking the latest information and news that we judge will be of benefit to our readers.

The South Florida Cancer Association