The Lymphatic System
Many of the bodies cells recieve essential components to sustain life from a blood filtrate called interstitial fluid. Waste products like urea, carbon dioxide and excess fluid are transported back to the circulatory system via a network of vessels and nodes collectively termed the Lymphatic System.
The fluid contained within these vessels is referred to as lymph. Movement of lymph is stimulated by muscle activity, changes in intersitial pressure and respiration. The lymph nodes filter toxins and other harmful substances from the lymph.
Lymphoedema occurs when there is an excessive accumulation of water and solid components in the tissues.
The most common causes of lymphoedema are:
Damage to the lymphatic system
: Radiation Damage
: Tumour Development
Clinical signs include
: Thickening and fibrotic changes of the tissues
: Blistering of the skin