Lymphedema, also spelled Lymphoedema, also known as lymphatic obstruction, is a condition of localized fluid retention caused by a compromised lymphatic system. The lymphatic system (often referred to as the body's "second" circulatory system) collects and filters the interstitial fluid of the body. The swelling occurs when a blockage in your lymphatic system prevents the lymph fluid in an area of your body from draining properly. It may affect just one arm or leg, but sometimes it may affect both arms or both legs, groin, genitals, torso, chest, back, and face. As the fluid accumulates, the swelling continues. Lymphedema has been barely recognized as being a serious health problem; however, this is slowly changing due to education and awareness. The danger with lymphedema comes from the constant risk of developing an uncontrolled infection in the affected limb. Still, physicians and medical staff who practice in fields where this disease is uncommon may fail to correctly diagnose the condition due to the apparent lack of information regarding this disease.

Lymphedema is a chronic disease that – according to our present state of knowledge – cannot be cured. The aim of treatment is to make the disease regress into Stage 0, "latent stage", free of signs and symptoms.

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