- Question from Dane: There is always a little bit of build up of fluid on my arm, around the elbow area. This has been present for over 5 years. It does not worry me, so am I correct in ignoring it?
- Answers - Nicole Stout No!
- Kathryn Schmitz This is one of those questions that I worry about, because we don't want anyone reading this or looking at the transcript to walk away freaked out unnecessarily. That said, Nicole's No! is well taken. We've known for a long time that early intervention and management is effective at preventing or attenuating worsening of lymphedema. At the very least, monitoring that limb is worth pursuing.
- Nicole Stout Your arm is telling you a story right now. It is telling you that there is a fluid congestion; it is telling you that it is likely related to lymphatic overload. Even though it hasn't progressed, it doesn't mean there's not still a risk, especially for infection. It may not bother you and it may not ever get worse, but because it exists and it's there, it's your limb telling you already that it's a little bit too stressed. You have to heed that little bit of a warning, so just keep an eye on it.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Preventing and Treating Arm Lymphedema featured Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.M.,Nicole Stout, M.P.T. C.L.T.-L.A.N.A., and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.S.C. answering your questions about ways to prevent and manage lymphedema.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2008.
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