Lymphorrhea is the leakage or seepage of protein-rich lymphatic fluid from the tissues on the surface of the skin, which usually manifests as beading or dripping of fluid. It is more common in the legs and genital areas, especially if prolonged restriction of mobility is a problem, but can also affect other areas of the body, for example the axillary area.
The leaking liquid is usually clear and colorless (sometimes straw colored or amber or milky) if it appears in isolation. If lymphorrhea occurs in the presence of wound secretion (exudate), its color and consistency will be dictated by the exudate.
Lymphorrhea often appears as a complication following the removal of axillary or inguinal lymph nodes; it can also be present in lymphedema following minor trauma to the swollen area, especially in vulnerable skin in elderly or palliative care patients.
Any trauma to the skin, caused for example by insect bites, cuts, abrasions, cracks in the dry skin, can allow lymph to ooze on the surface of the skin. In some cases, lymphorrhea can be the result of ruptured lymphatic cysts (lymphocele), which is an abnormal blister-like buildup of lymph fluid on the skin due to injured lymphatic vessels, often as a result of procedures surgical.
Although the leak is often associated with known causes, as described above, it can also start spontaneously, seemingly out of nowhere, possibly due to the high pressure of lymph fluid inside the skin tissue. The skin is often so stretched with excess fluid that it is unable to stretch quickly enough to accommodate the fluid, causing it to split or tear with even the slightest bump or nick, resulting in lymphorrhea. The discharge may be light or excessive, causing moisture in clothing, compression garments or bandages, shoes and bedding.
The presence of lymphorrhea can lead to secondary complications, such as infections (cellulite) and further breakdown of the skin, caused by excessive moisture. If lymphorrhea is present in association with chronic wounds, the caustic nature of the exuding fluid associated with lymphorrhea is known to be destructive of the wound bed, which can lead to more increased and extensive ulceration.
In order to stop the leak and avoid further complications, it is important to start treatment immediately. Trained healthcare professionals and certified lymphedema therapists involved in the treatment of lymphedema should be able to initiate appropriate treatment after a full assessment of the cause of the leak.
In order to prevent fluid leakage and promote healing of skin lesions, a series of steps are essential:
First, the area where the liquid is leaking should be cleaned thoroughly and thoroughly with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection. After that, a moisturizing cream or lotion should be applied to the skin to improve the condition and protect it from further degradation. The leak area should then be covered with a sterile, non-adherent, absorbent dressing to prevent further trauma to the skin and to absorb the leaking fluid.
The main component in stopping lymphorrhea is compression with padded stretch shorts compression bandages, which are applied on top of the dressing and may need to be replaced frequently during the first 2-3 days to remove wet dressings and dressings. It is important to stress that the entire swollen area (e.g. the entire leg) should be covered with bandages in order to avoid a tourniquet effect and subsequent accumulation of fluid under the area affected by lymphorrhea. In addition, the tip should be elevated as much as possible to reduce the effects of gravity and promote venous and lymphatic drainage.
Following these steps, in most cases, will improve the condition of the skin and stop the leakage within 2-3 days, at which time the normal compression garment will need to be reapplied.
- If an infection is associated with lymphorrhea, a doctor should be consulted immediately in order to take the appropriate steps to stop the infection.
- Chronic wounds associated with a lymph fluid leak should be treated by healthcare professionals experienced in the management of wounds and lymphedema.
- Prevention is key - patients with lymphedema should be compliant while wearing their compression devices; the the skin should be regularly inspected for any crack or sign of infection; the skin must be kept clean and properly hydrated; all damage to the skin (insect bites, scratches, cuts, etc.) in the area with lymphedema, should be avoided.
Here is a video on wounds, lymphorrhea, compression and skin care (2020)
Do you need more information on other topics related to lymphedema? Use the list of items on the left side of this page and select any item that interests you.
Join Lymphedema guru, a Facebook page dedicated solely to providing information on everything related to lymphedema - news, support groups, treatment centers and more
If there is one thing that confuses patients after they’ve had body contouring, it’s whether or not ( and how ! ) to wear a compression garment. This article will answer all your questions about wearing compression garments. We gathered the most common questions from patients across the globe to create the most comprehensive guide you will find anywhere online. In this article, you will learn about the benefits of compression, how to wear one properly, and even some tips for hiding your post-op garment under clothes.
Compression garment are an important part of postoperative care. Wearing a compression garment can make an impact on your surgical results, speeding recovery and helping to shape your new silhouette. They speed the healing process, which means you can get back to living your life sooner after surgery.
Wearing a compression garment takes a lot of guesswork out of the equation when it comes to your results. They help stabilize and shape your body’s new silhouette so they heal as your surgeon intended. Patients who wear compression garments may experience less pain compared to those who do not wear them.
So, what do compression garments do exactly ? The idea is to help close the space that is created within the abdomen as a part of body contouring surgery. When a patient undergoes a tummy tuck, the flap of skin is elevated off the abdominal wall, leaving a space. The same thing occurs with body lift procedures, which also create a gap between skin and tissue. Liposuction, too, results in a void where the fat used to be.
When skin and force are elevated, you want them to heal in the convenable place. One goal of compression garments is to encourage tissue to re-adhere to your abdominal wall by closing the space with gentle, constant pressure. Compression may help tissues re-adhere exactly as intended by keeping everything in its proper place.
Reduced swelling : If you are wondering how to reduce swelling after a contouring procedure, a compression garment will do just that. It helps restrict the edema that occurs after surgery by applying firm pressure to the area.
Lower risk of bruising and bleeding : Wear post-op garments are shown to reduce hematoma and decrease the chance of postoperative bleeding.
Speeds the healing process : Patients who wear compression garments after body contouring surgery may be able to return to their normal daily activities sooner than those who do not. They can improve oxygen levels in soft tissue, allowing faster tissue repair. 1 Some brands like Lipo-elastic even have perforated material that nuances only some parts of the skin to increase blood circulation. Increased circulation promotes faster recovery.
Potentially reduced risk of keloid scarring : Keloids can form when excess scar tissue grows over a healed wound. Compression therapy is the first line of defense against keloids since they can soften and break up keloid scar formations
Reduced contamination risk : Like a Band-Aid, a compression garment can shield your skin from outside germs like a barrier. It protects the wound while you heal.
Patients typically wear a compression garment for 4-6 weeks following larger body contouring procedures on average. For minor procedures, two weeks may be enough. The length of time you will need to wear a post-surgery garment may vary based on your surgeon’s protocol. It can depend on the amount of skin and/or fat removed, how much loose skin remains, your skin elasticity and other factors.
If you find wearing a post-surgical garment uncomfortable, it is worth mentioning it to your surgeon. They may be able to make adjustments or advise you on how to make things feel a bit more comfortable as your recover.
After surgery, many surgeons recommend wearing the garment day and night for the first 1-3 weeks, except to shower. Of course, this can vary depending on the juste procedure and extent of surgery. During the deuxième phase of recovery ( usually weeks 3-6 ), you may only need to wear the garment during the daytime. Some surgeons recommend wearing it around the clock, even in recovery phase two, if you can tolerate it. Again, this boils down to your surgeon’s aftercare protocol.
This is a tricky question. Some surgeons use the words interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing. Both are post-surgical devices that apply gentle pressure to promote healing and reduce swelling.