A lymphedema is a stowage of tissue fluid inside the subcutaneous fat tissue. Due to various causes the lymphatic vessels’ transport capacity can be exceeded, so that fluid remains inside the tissue.
Lymphatic vessels transport tissue fluids and dissolved substances towards the chest and lead it back into the blood vessel system shortly before reaching the heart. If lymphatic vessels are damaged by inflammations, tumors, operations, stowage or radiotherapy (secondary lymphedema), or if they are insufficiently developed by birth (primary lymphedema), the tissue fluids can’t be led away properly, and the tissue behind the damage swells (oedema). As an example, an armpit surgery (e.g. for breast cancer) can lead to an oedema of the arm.
The manifestation of a lymphedema can be separated into 4 stages (0-3). Stage 0 shows an impaired transport capacity of the lymphatic vessels, but no swelling is visible. A so-called soft swelling, that can be pressed with the thumb and disappears very slowly, only develops during stage 1. Stages 0 and 1 can be cured completely with the adequate therapy. In stage 2, the constantly high pressure of the tissues leads to changes on and inside the skin (fibrosis). Unlike stage 1, stage 2 shows a hard swelling, it is difficult to press a dent into the oedema. Despite intensive therapy, the symptoms of this stage are only partly curable. Massive swellings develop in stage 3, which are called elephantiasis. The skin is rough and thickened. This stage is irreversible. Patients mainly complain about feelings of heaviness and tension of the affected body parts. If the oedema is located near the joints, limited mobility will be an additional symptom.
New lymphedema need to be examined to find out, if it is an actual lymphedema, or a swelling caused by a weakness of the venous system. The experienced doctor can do this with a diligent anamnesis interview and a physical examination. It is important to determine the causes of the lymphedema, because it will define the therapy. The main therapy includes manual lymphatic drainage, skincare, compression therapy with wraps or stockings, as well as decongestant movement therapy. The affected region of the body (e.g. a leg) should also be elevated. In some situations, surgery might be necessary.
Several years of work in academia, medical practice and finally commercialization make it possible to provide an end-to-end process to help users to “find the appropriate medical help based on their present symptoms”. Below you will find a short explanation, showing you which part of the platform will help you best in finding the appropriate medical support.
Proceed as follows to enter your current symptoms.
Click on the appropriate body part on the picture. Select one/multiple symptoms corresponding to your complaint.
You can also add symptoms by typing your medical complaint in the search box and selecting the best matching suggestion.
Note: Your information will be kept anonymously.
Once you have selected all applicable symptoms, click the “analyze disease pattern”-button.
Accordingly, you will get a list of possible diseases and matching doctor categories who can further help you.
You can inform yourself about the possible diseases by reading the related information. But you can also return to the previous step and add more symptoms or delete already added ones to further narrow down your disease pattern.
Click on the desired doctor category to find a doctor who can help you.
If you are logged in with your profile, you will be displayed the appropriate doctors in your area. Otherwise you can enter an address in the “address” field and you will be displayed a doctor’s list around that specified address.
You will receive further information about the displayed doctors when you press on “details”.
Online bookable doctors in your area will be indicated with the notation “Book appointment” or “Book externally”, additionally they will be displayed on top of the list for your convenience.
Click on “Book appointment” to start the online appointment booking process with the desired doctor.
Please select an available appointment. “Green“ appointments are booked directly. “Red“ appointments need to be confirmed by the doctor.
Enter your general personal and health information.
Enter your present medical symptoms.
Enter your mobile phone number to identify yourself and you can finalize the appointment booking.
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