Lymphedema is a condition that causes massive swelling in the arms or the legs and does not stop until the limb looks like it does not belong to the person.
Causes of lymphedema are surgery with removal of lymph nodes, cancer, radiation treatment and infections. Some diseases may also cause lymphedema as a side effect. Lymphedema is usually painless but can cause discomfort because of the increased pressure from all the extra fluid in the body part.
The weight of the arm or leg may triple and just moving the part causes fatigue. Lymphedema in the legs may add so much weight to the body that the feet can start to suffer as a result. There is no cure for lymphedema. Treatment includes wrapping the arm or leg with compression wraps or using a mechanical pump machine to milk the body part of the fluid. This must be done for life to keep fluid out. Patients may suffer depression because of the gross deformity of the body part and poor understanding of this condition by the general public.