Lymphatic and venous diseases are a group of conditions characterized by compromised lymphatic or venous systems (or a combination of both), commonly resulting in swelling. There are many different causes of swelling and successful treatment is dependent on correct diagnosis.
Diagnosis of lymphatic and venous diseases requires a comprehensive medical assessment, to ensure that the correct underlying issue(s) are identified and other possible causes are excluded. This medical assessment will be completed by a doctor or specialist who has expertise in lymphatic and venous diseases. Diagnosis is made based on medical history and physical examination. Family history may also be explored, when investigating possible inherited lymphatic or venous diseases. Specialist imaging may be requested at this time, should further information be required. This may include:
Other specialist investigations may include genetic testing (if primary lymphedema is suspected), specialist vascular imaging or blood tests (to exclude other conditions).
Once the cause of the swelling has been identified, treatment options will be explored. If an underlying lymphatic or venous disease is confirmed, referral to a lymphedema practitioner or experienced health professional may be suggested for the commencement of treatment as required. See also, What is Lymphedema, How To Wear Compression Stockings
Lymphoedema Framework. Best Practice for the Management of Lymphoedema. International consensus. London: MEP Ltd, 2006.