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Special Care for a Rare Condition

Your child’s lymphatic system keeps the body’s fluid levels in balance and defends against infection. It does this by sending a clear fluid called “lymph” throughout the body. When something is wrong with the lymphatic system, lymph can build up in tissues and cause swelling in the arms, legs, hands and feet. This condition is called “lymphedema.”

If left untreated, lymphedema in children can lead to chronic wounds, ulcers, infection and other complications. At Nemours, our dedicated team of experts work together to give your child complete lymphedema care.

Learn More About the Lymphatic System

Types of Lymphedema We Treat

Lymphedema in children is rare. Children may be born with lymphedema or they may develop it later in life. It can be caused by developmental problems (called “primary lymphedema”). When lymphatic vessels (thin-walled tubes that carry lymph) are missing or don’t form like they should, it can cause primary lymphedema, like Meige syndrome (a movement disorder that causes muscle spasms). Or, lymphedema can be caused by an injury to the lymphatic system (called “secondary lymphedema”). At the Nemours Lymphatic Imaging & Therapeutics Program, we treat children with both primary and secondary lymphedema.

Lymphedema Services We Offer

Lymphatic vessels are very small, and doctors in the past couldn’t see them without modern imaging technology. Thankfully, we can now see leakages and blocks in lymphatic vessels by using real-time imaging tests called “lymphangiography.”

Our lymphedema treatment services may include care from experts in:

And we offer the Wright linear pump — a noninvasive, state-of-the-art device that uses programmable pressure to treat fluid accumulation disorders like pediatric lymphedema.

Why Choose Us for Lymphedema Care

Our Lymphatic Imaging & Therapeutics Program is located at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware (Wilmington, Del.). These are just some of the reasons families choose us for their child’s lymphedema care:

  • one of the largest pediatric interventional radiology programs in the country (with teams in the Delaware Valley and Florida)
  • American College of Radiology (ACR) accreditation for CT, MRI, ultrasound and PET MRI imaging (the gold standard in accreditation)
  • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware right across from our campus, for an affordable home away from home for hospital stays

Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.