Lymphatics and wounds
It is common to treat wounds and lymphatic conditions separately as both can be complex processes. Understanding how the lymphatic system plays a crucial role in wound healing and treating these conditions as interrelated, can greatly benefit patients with chronic wounds and improve outcomes.1
Wounds progress through a complex and overlapping healing cascade of events. When this healing progression is disrupted, wounds have the potential to remain in an inflammatory state becoming chronic in nature.
The lymphatic system is composed of a complex network of vessels throughout our body and plays a vital role in the immune system and fluid balance. A compromised lymphatic system leads to fluid imbalance, skin changes, ulcerations, edema/lymphedema, wound regression, and/or infections. If not treated properly, patients may eventually develop skin changes and wounds in the later stages. On the other hand, patients with chronic wounds may experience lymphatic damage that leads to secondary lymphedema. For example, patients with Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) not treated adequately may eventually experience a lymphatic dysfunction that can progress to phlebolymphedema.2
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