Monday, March 05, 2012

The Puzzle - An Inside Glimpse of Lymphedema - New Book

The Puzzle - An Inside Glimpse of Lymphedema - New Book

by The Lighthouse Lymphedema Network

The book is compiled so that people who have been touched by lymphedema can share their stories; their trials and tribulations, their sadness and disappointments, their strength and hopes. It is intended to encourage, educate and inspire patients and loved ones, who can often feel isolated and uninformed. We hope to increase awareness and general knowledge of a condition that is often overlooked and misdiagnosed, yet which can have monumental physical and emotional impact on the lives that it affects.

Not every story has a happy ending, yet there is hope. By sharing these stories with one another, we can learn from the struggles and successes that others have experienced, and can help each other to live well with lymphedema.

How do I get this book ???

The book is available:

Lighthouse Lymphedema Network Book
10240 Crescent Ridge Drive
Roswell, GA 30076

on the new Lighthouse Lymphedema Network Store

Remember: All profits are going straight into our "Bag Fund" that assists needy lymphedema patients in securing desperately needed compression garments.

Included in the book are four articles by Pat O'Connor

Acute Lymphedema

Acute versus gradual-onset lymphedema

There are four types of acute lymphedema.

Type One Acute Lymphedema

The first type of acute lymphedema is mild and lasts only a short time, occurring a few days after surgery to remove the lymph nodes or after injury to the lymphatic vessels or veins just under the collarbone. The affected limb may be warm and slightly red, but is usually not painful and gets better within a week by keeping the affected arm or leg supported in a raised position and by contracting the muscles in the affected limb (for example, making a fist and releasing it).

Type Two Acute Lymphedema

The second type of acute lymphedema occurs 6 to 8 weeks after surgery or during a course of radiation therapy. This type may be caused by inflammation of either lymphatic vessels or veins. The affected limb is tender, warm or hot, and red and is treated by keeping the limb supported in a raised position and taking anti-inflammatory drugs.

Type Three Acute Lymphedema

The third type of acute lymphedema occurs after an insect bite, minor injury, or burn that causes an infection of the skin and the lymphatic vessels near the skin surface. It may occur on an arm or leg that is chronically swollen. The affected area is red, very tender, and hot and is treated by supporting the affected arm or leg in a raised position and taking antibiotics A compression pump should not be used and the affected area should not be wrapped with elastic bandages during the early stages of infection. Mild redness may continue after the infection.

Type Four Acute Lymphedema

The fourth and most common type of acute lymphedema develops very slowly and may become noticeable 18 to 24 months after surgery or not until many years after cancer treatment. The patient may experience discomfort of the skin; aching in the neck, shoulders, spine, or hips caused by stretching of the soft tissues or overuse of muscles; or posture changes caused by increased weight of the arm or leg. Lymphedema PDQ

Friday, March 02, 2012

Unilateral psoriasis in a woman with ipsilateral post-mastectomy lymphedema.

Unilateral psoriasis in a woman with ipsilateral post-mastectomy lymphedema.

2011 Dec


Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Psoriasis is a multi-factorial disease with various clinical manifestations. We present a case of unilateral psoriasis associated with ipsilateral lymphedema that developed after mastectomy for breast cancer. A 42-year-old Korean woman was referred to our clinic with a 1-month history of multiple erythematous scaly patches on the right arm, back, and breast and was diagnosed with psoriasis by a skin biopsy. Three years previously, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer (T1N2), underwent a right quadrantectomy and axillary lymph node dissection, and completed adjuvant chemotherapy followed by high-dose adjuvant radiotherapy. She had started rehabilitation therapy on the right arm for secondarylymphedema 30 months previously. Because of the long interval between radiation and psoriasis, we speculated that changes in the local milieu caused by the lymphedema might be a causative factor. We hereby report a rare case of unilateral psoriasis following post-mastectomy lymphedema.