07 jan 2020
Lymphedema is a chronic disease, subject to the recommendations of a specialist, patients achieve a very long period of remission, the volumes of the affected limb are stably kept.
But with untimely or not qualified treatment, serious complications can arise, namely:
Trophic tissue disorder
As a result of a violation of the transport function of the lymphatic vessels, lymph accumulates in the intercellular space, which leads to compression of the veins and arteries and a violation of the microcirculation of blood in the limbs and malnutrition of soft tissues - ischemia. Tissue ischemia leads to irreversible consequences, such as fibrous growth and compaction of subcutaneous fat, and in this case, patients note coarseness, density or focal tissue compaction upon palpation. Unfortunately, this is not a reversible process in the tissues, which can be stopped at any stage of the disease. If the treatment is not started in time, the limb will begin to change in shape and lose its anatomical contour.
Thickening of the stratum corneum and disruption of the keratinization process is often associated with lymphedema, which is associated with endogenous factors in the body. Also, patients have excessive dryness of the skin, which leads to cracks, due to impaired trophism, hard-healing ulcers can occur at the site of the cracks, which lead to the attachment of a secondary bacterial flora. Against the background of the formed ulcers, lymphorrhea can occur (the discharge through the skin of the lymph, which is a clear liquid with a specific smell).
Since the lymphatic system is an immune system, the local immunity of the skin on the affected limb is impaired due to a violation of its work. Any abrasion or cut can lead to erysipelas, which often recurs in patients with lymphedema. Erysipelas is accompanied by severe pain, an increase in the volume of the limb, redness of the skin and a rise in body temperature to 40 C. It requires immediate treatment in the early stages of a lymphologist.
The causative agent of which is streptococcus, is characterized by acute purulent diffuse inflammation of the intercellular spaces, may be the result of frequent erysipelas.
Arising during the duration of the process, which is the most serious complication of lymphedema, it is extremely dangerous for the degeneration of lymphatic tissues into malignant tumors, more often accompanied by women who have undergone mastectomy.