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Lymphatic obstruction or Lymphedema is typically a blockage of the lymph vessels that drain fluid from tissues throughout the body and allow immune cells to travel where they are needed. Lymphatic obstruction may cause lymphedema, which means swelling due to a blockage of the lymph passages.

Signs and Symptoms

The main symptom of lymphedema is persistent swelling, usually of the arm or leg.


Causes of lymphatic obstruction include:

  • Infections with parasites such as filariasis
  • Injury
  • Radiation therapy
  • Skin infections such as cellulitis
  • Surgery
  • Tumors


Treatment for lymphedema includes:

  • Compression (usually with multilayered bandages)
  • Manual lymph drainage (MLD)
  • Range of motion exercises