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Lymphedema Of The Vulva

Written by Amy Hall
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Causes of Lymphedema of the Vulva

Lymphedema of the vulva can occur whenever surgery for the treatment of cancer is performed on the lower half of the body. Cancer surgery often involves the removal of lymph nodes, which can cause problems with the lymphatic system. Lymph nodes are responsible for filtering lymph ( a colorless fluid) and passing it on to the lymph vessels, which eventually transport the cleansed fluid to the heart.

Lymph vessels have "one-way" valves which help to push the fluid forward and keep it circulating throughout the body. When lymph nodes are removed, the lymphatic system becomes somewhat compromised, and lymph can build-up in areas and become stagnant. When this happens, various parts of the body can become grossly swollen, such as the legs, arms and neck.

Treatment of Genital Lymphedema

Treatment for lymphedema of the vulva is basically the same as it is for any other part of the body that is effected. It has been proven that Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy work best at managing the symptoms of lymphedema. Your therapist may also recommend the use of compression garments or bandages to help keep the swelling down. It can be tricky bandaging the genital area, and there usually are garments made with velcro straps and odor-absorbing pads.

Your therapist may also recommend elevating the pelvic region at night to further drain fluid from the area. You will also be taught about proper skin care to prevent infection from taking hold of the affected area. If you are looking for a therapist in your area, you can log onto the Internet and do a search for certified therapists.

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