Diagnosing Lymphedema

A doctor giving a lymphedema diagnosis

Lymphedema is a disease that occurs when the lymphatic fluid in our legs builds up and is unable to drain. Once our lymph nodes become damaged, they may be unable to cycle your lymphatic fluids and lead to fluid retention. Several steps and tests are needed to do a proper lymphedema diagnosis and understand what caused it for your condition.

Lymphedema Diagnosis Tests

Typically, when diagnosing for lymphedema, your physician should conduct a routine health check to examine any symptoms or history of lymphedema. This health check may also include your physician examining the impacted areas of your body. In most cases, at least one specialized test may be needed to confirm the presence of lymphedema. These tests can include:

Lymphoscintigraphy – A medical test that utilizes a low dose of radioactive substances to trace and follow the flow of your lymphatic fluids.

Duplex Ultrasound – This medical test uses high-frequency sound waves that will show in real-time the blood flow to and from your blood vessels. Duplex ultrasound is typically required to rule out a blood clot in your leg that can be mistaken for lymphedema. Think of the Doppler radar on your local news station; that’s how this medical test works.

Lymphangiography – An older medical test that is typically not utilized as frequently anymore that uses contrast dye that is injected directly into your lymphatic vessels.

These tests may be ordered in combination to rule out any other causes of your symptoms.

When to Get Checked

Lymphedema can be caused from a variety of injuries to your lymphatic system or through family history. These injuries are mostly seen as cuts, scratches, bites, and even athlete’s foot. One simple injury can lead to a severe infection if not treated promptly. If you have a history of infections due to wounds, make sure to visit your physician immediately. The symptoms of lymphedema are different for everyone, with some individuals not developing symptoms for many years after the injury. Make sure to rule out lymphedema if you have a history of the condition in your family and are prone to infections.

Treatment with the Laser Vein Center

If you have a lymphedema diagnosis, and are looking for treatment, look no further than the Laser Vein Center. Dr. Wright and his staff of highly-trained technicians are experts in the field and can help you find a better quality of life. Call today for your free consultation and see what treatments are the perfect fit for you.