General Introduction

It can be defined as the accumulation of protein-rich fluid as a result of impaired lymphatic circulation due to congenital or acquired causes. For example, it is one of the most distressing complications that occurs as a result of removal of the axillary lymph nodes after breast cancer surgery. As a result of the obstruction of lymph flow in the armpit, it causes swelling, discomfort and pain in the arm.


The incidence of lymphedema after breast surgery is approximately 25%. Lymphedema can develop in any type of cancer, after surgery or radiotherapy (radiation therapy). However, it develops especially after breast, prostate and lower abdominal region cancers. The greater the surgery, the greater the number of lymph nodes removed from the armpit, and the greater the risk of lymphedema if radiotherapy was applied after surgery. Minor injuries such as a blow to the arm, graze-cut, insect bite and infection can cause lymphedema.