Edema & Lymphedema

Edema occurs when fluid builds up in soft body tissues and causes swelling. Holland Hospital Rehabilitation Services offers a comprehensive program to manage edema and lymphedema.

Nearly 5 million Americans suffer from lymphedema, a condition in which protein accumulates, causing limbs to swell. Some cases are primary, developing as a result of a birth defect such as Milroy's disease, but the majority are secondary, occurring when the body's lymphatic system is compromised or damaged from cancer surgery, radiation treatment, infection, trauma or hereditary conditions.

The body's lymphatic system consists of a network of lymph nodes and vessels that serve as a filter to remove toxins and other harmful substances. When lymph nodes are surgically removed or aren't working correctly, fluid accumulates, causing lymphedema.

Edema and Lymphedema. Lymphedema usually affects an arm or leg, but it can also affect other parts of the body. Common symptoms are swelling that restricts movement; aching, tightness or heaviness in the affected limb; recurring infections; and a hardening or thickening of skin. Lymphedema can get progressively worse if not treated at the onset. 


Holland Hospital Rehabililtation Services
(616) 355-3987