General: Swelling in an arm or leg may indicate lymphedema. A healthcare provider may check to be sure that the swelling is not due to other causes, such as a blood clot or an infection that does not involve lymph nodes. Arm or leg swelling in patients that have recently had cancer and/or surgery involving the lymph nodes usually indicates lymphedema. Following a physical exam, imaging tests may be used to determine the cause of swelling. During the physical exam, the healthcare provider will ask about a family history of swelling and any past illnesses and medications taken. The swollen arm or leg may be measured and compared to the other arm or leg.
Computerized tomography (CT): A CT scan produces images of the arm or leg in cross-sections and may show the areas of the lymphatic system that are blocked.
Doppler ultrasound: A Doppler ultrasound assesses blood flow and pressure by bouncing high-frequency sound waves off of red blood cells.
Lymphangiography: A lymphangiogram is an X-ray of the lymph nodes and lymph vessels where a dye or radioactive compound is injected into the body to enable viewing of the lymph nodes and lymph vessels, which are not usually seen on a normal X-ray.
Lymphoscintigraphy: In a lymphoscintigraphy, a radioactive dye is injected and then scanned by a machine. A healthcare provider may then watch the dye moving through the lymph vessels and check for blockages.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI scan images the tissues in the affected arm or leg to check for lymph accumulation.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.General: Swelling in an arm or leg may indicate lymphedema. A healthcare provider may check to be sure that the swelling is not due to other causes, such as a blood clot or an infection that does not involve lymph nodes. Arm or leg swelling in... More