Lymphedema Facts, Symptoms & Prevention

Lymphedema facts

  • Lymphedema is a condition that results from impaired flow of the lymphatic system.  Symptoms of lymphedema include swelling in one or more extremities. The swelling may range from mild to severe and disfiguring.
  • Primary lymphedema is present at birth; secondary lymphedema develops as a result of damage to or dysfunction of the lymphatic system.
  • Breast cancer treatment is the most common cause of lymphedema in the U.S.  While there is no cure for lymphedema, compression treatments and physical therapy may help reduce the swelling and discomfort.

The rule in prosthetics is to always make a prosthesis very lightweight

This rule applies to breast forms as well.  An external breast prosthesis or silicone breast form should fit as close to the chest wall as possible, allowing a properly fitted bra to hug the silicone breast form and keep it securely in place.  This is not possible with a heavy breast form or an ill fitting bra / mastectomy bra.