Because pediatric lymphedema can lead to infection in the affected limb, it’s important to diagnose and treat it early. At Nemours, our dedicated team of specialists is experienced in treating children with lymphedema.
Lymphedema is swelling in the arms or legs caused by an accumulation of lymph fluid (the clear, watery fluid that carries protein molecules, salts, glucose, urea, other substances through the body). The condition is typically caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system that prevents proper drainage of this fluid.
Primary lymphedema occurs when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired. Secondary lymphedema happens when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed. Children can be born with the condition or, in some cases, can develop it in puberty (known as praecox) or adulthood (tarda).