Lymphedema refers to swelling of the arms or legs. Women who have had lymph nodes removed as part of their treatment for breast cancer or who have had radiation therapy have an increased risk of developing lymphedema in their arms. Lymphedema is caused by the disruption of lymphatic channels and presents with arm swelling, tightness, or increased susceptibility to skin infections. In most cases, lymphedema is treated with arm elevation, compression garments and massage. Some women can also benefit from surgical treatment for lymphedema. This can be in the form of scar releases, a lymph node transfer, or a lympho-venous bypass.
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