Lymphedema causes swelling in your leg that requires prompt treatment to prevent the problem from progressively worsening. Mark Matey, DPM, at Jacksonville Vein Specialists has helped many patients reduce the swelling and prevent complications associated with this incurable condition. If you have questions about lymphedema or you’d like to schedule an appointment, use the online booking feature or call one of the three convenient offices, with two locations in Jacksonville and one in Palm Coast, Florida.

request an appointment

What is lymphedema?

Edema is a buildup of fluids that causes swelling. Lymphedema occurs when fluids accumulate in your legs or arms due to problems in your lymphatic system.

The fluids that circulate through your lymphatic system pick up bacteria, cancer cells, and other toxins, which are then filtered out in your lymph nodes. When the lymph nodes or vessels become blocked or damaged, fluids accumulate and swelling develops.

What causes lymphedema?

Vein diseases — such as deep vein thrombosis, venous ulcers, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency — may increase your risk of developing lymphedema.

Damage to your lymphatic system may be caused by:


You may have surgery to remove lymph nodes due to cancer or your lymph nodes may be damaged during surgery.

Radiation treatment

Radiation treatment for cancer causes scarring and inflammation in the lymph nodes and vessels.


Benign or malignant tumors in your lymph nodes may grow large enough to block the flow of lymph fluid.

Infections and inflammatory conditions

Severe infections may cause scarring of your lymph nodes or vessels. Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis may permanently damage the lymphatic system.

What symptoms develop due to lymphedema?

The swelling of lymphedema may develop gradually or appear suddenly. You’ll experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Swelling of one part or the entire leg
  • Limited movement
  • Feeling of tightness over the area
  • Aching or numbness in your legs
  • Thickening of your skin
  • Skin discoloration

If an infection develops, you’ll also have a fever and redness or warmth in the affected area.

How is lymphedema treated?

Once lymphedema develops, it’s not curable, but Dr. Matey provides treatment that reduces your symptoms and prevents complications, such as scarring and skin and lymph vessel infections.

Dr. Matey determines if you have an underlying venous condition and implements treatment when a problem is discovered. A treatment for your lymphedema, called complex decongestive therapy, focuses on improving circulation in the lymphatic system.

Your lymphedema treatment may include:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Gradient pressure bandages
  • Leg exercises
  • Leg massage
  • Pneumatic compression
  • Compression stockings

In severe cases, Dr. Matey may recommend surgery to improve lymphatic flow.

To receive expert treatment for lymphedema, call Jacksonville Vein Specialists or book an appointment online.