Symptoms of Lymphedema

The symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • Swelling in the extremities, shoulders or the chest. The swelling may occur for the first time after some form of trauma to that area or after an infection or a long airplane trip.
  • A redness or pain in the arm or leg.
  • A heavy sensation in the arms or legs.
  • A decrease in the flexibility of the moveable joints.
  • Difficulty fitting into clothes.
  • Watches, rings or bracelets that suddenly do not fit or are very tight.
  • Tightness in the skin.
  • Recurring infections in that limb.
  • A hardening and thickening of the skin on the arms or legs.

The swelling caused by lymphedema can vary from a mild and barely noticeable swelling to a swelling that makes it impossible to use the limb. If caused by surgery, the symptoms may appear at any time after, even a few years.