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Lymphedema: Born with Swelling

Being diagnosed with a rare disease will already be difficult enough, but suffering from it since birth will be even more difficult. Sadly, for infants with congenital lymphedema, they enter the world in pain. Even more unfortunate, as of now, lymphedema has no cure, although treatments are available to manage symptoms.


Swelling of Extremities

Lymphedema refers to a condition wherein extremities swell up because of a defective lymphatic system. Secondary lymphedema occurs fairly often, especially among breast cancer survivors. Primary lymphedema, however, particularly congenital lymphedema that is transmitted hereditarily, occurs rarely.


Causes of the Swelling

Congenital lymphedema happens when an infant’s body lacks lymph vessels needed to transport lymph. It can also happen when the lymph vessels have complications themselves. When any of the conditions happen, lymph builds up and swells either an arm, a leg, or both.


Signs to Watch Out For

Parents, you can detect if your newborn has congenital lymphedema if you notice clothes becoming too tight in the legs or arms. Redness and puffiness of the skin also indicate the onset of lymphedema. As the condition worsens, you will notice the swelling from extremities more and more.


Available Symptom Management

You can immediately consult physicians when you notice any of the symptoms above in your newborn. You can also research other symptoms online. To mitigate the swelling, physicians may recommend bandages to tightly compress lymphatic fluid out of the swelled extremity towards the rest of the body. Manual compression may be recommended as well.

In extreme cases, surgical treatment must be done to remove excess lymphatic fluid. At the same time, infections that occur because of lymphedema can also spread into the bloodstream. In such a case, you can control the infection with the right antibiotics as prescribed by a physician.


With such a rare and difficult disease such as lymphedema, you will most likely make several appointments to several doctors for your child. It will be important then to bring vital records of your child with you to every appointment. You can make use of our application, My Medical Records, to record those data straight to your iPhone.

You can learn more about My Medical Records at https://www.fnjsoftware.com/ and you can download it at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-medi-recs/id1222451454?ls=1&mt=8 for $9.99.

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