What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is the network of vessels through which lymph fluid drains from the tissues into the circulatory system. This network consists of:

  • Lymph Capillaries – collection of cellular waste
  • Vessels – transports lymph fluid to the lymph nodes
  • Lymph nodes – processes lymph fluid for reuse in the circulatory system

Anatomically speaking, the body can be divided into four quadrants, each with its own direction of lymphatic drainage. The quadrants are separated from each other by what is known as watersheds.

Healthy adults produce between two and four liters of lymph a day.

Lymphedema can develop if lymphatic drainage is interrupted or impaired. Lymphedema occurs when the lymph fluid cannot flow towards the heart properly and accumulates in the tissues – it can be compared with a sort of traffic jam. The arms and legs swell up and edema forms, i.e. chronic swelling.

There are so many different treatment options available today that you can lead an almost perfectly normal life, even with lymphedema.

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