Intermittent occupational-related lymphedema


Chronic lymphedema is a progressive and a relatively painless swelling of any peripheral tissue – limbs, head and neck, breast, trunk or genitals that is the result of a lessthan-optimal transport capacity of the lymphatic system. Regarding the diagnosis of lymphedema, the patient’s history and physical examination were established as of fundamental importance. About complementary diagnostic clinic the Lymphoscintigraphy as part of the initial recommendation in cases of diagnostic doubt. Doppler ultrasound in the initial investigation but when there was suspicion of lymphedema secondary to tumor and Genetic testing in familial lymphedema. The conservative treatment is the first line of therapy ³ but there is no consensus on one single specific treatment for lymphedema but an association of therapies is recommended. Everything must be done to prevent lymphedema or treat this disease as early as possible to avoid deterioration with the resulting negative impact on the patient's psychology and quality of life. Social-occupational aspects of lymphedema cannot be neglected. Swelling and pain may appear in workers engaged in repetitive activities with a negative impact on work . About work related with an aggravating factor associated with functional limitations and pain in patients with lymphedema after submitted to the treatment of breast cancer. About work related as aggravating factor for functional limitations and pain in patients with lymphedema is common after being submitted to the treatment of breast cancer). Some studies have described functional alterations in breast cancer-related lymphedema however no studies reporting the development of lymphedema due to repeated movements at work were found in the Medline database; studies have only reported that different types of working conditions, such as the environment, instruments and physical adaptation to the demands of work, can influence the general health status in respect to lymphedema.

Studies show that sugarcane harvesting is a very labor intensive activity, in which workers often become fatigued because of the long hours of cutting cane with the repetitive movements of the machete directly increasing occupational stress and causing lesions.

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John Mathews
Journal Manager
Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology