Genital / Scrotal Edema
Westbury Total Health Care specializes in Complex Lymphedema Therapy for genital and scrotal edema in Nassau County, New York. Our physicians have over 50 years combined experience treating thousands of complicated Lymphedema conditions.
Genital lymphedema just like other lymphedema of the body occur when there is an interruption of the lymphatic drainage of an area, it can be either primary (congenital) or secondary in nature. The secondary causes include infections (cellulites, scrotal filariasis, and sexually transmitted diseases), cancer and/or its treatments (radiotherapy/lymph node dissection) and trauma. A thorough understanding of the anatomy and the pelvic lymphatic’s helps in the differential diagnosis, it is very important in acute edematous conditions that testicular torsion is ruled out as this is considered a medical emergency. Doppler imaging can be used as a diagnostic tool in this scenario.
The first sign of genital edema is soft tissue pitting, which is usually painless. In men the supra pubic area, penis and scrotum can be involved, the scrotum has no bony or muscular structures to facilitate lymphatic return and are subject to the affects of gravity. Swelling of the scrotum can make it difficult for the patient to walk; supra pubic swelling causes the penis to retract into the scrotum producing problems with urination, sexual activity personal hygiene.In women the inner and outer lips of the vagina (labia) can become so swollen that they extend out from the vagina, again creating a problem with urination, sexual activity, and personal hygiene. The swelling can be of extreme proportions and the social stigma can be devastating to their self confidence.
Lymphedema treatment and management:
The major complication from genital lymphedema is cellulites; the lymphatic fluid is very protein rich, warm and moist crevices are present providing the perfect medium for bacteria to grow. Therefore, skin care and meticulous hygiene of the genitals is important. Daily bathing using an antibacterial soap with thorough drying afterwards will help reduce the risk of infection. Daily self inspection for cracks in skin can help prevent the occurrence of infection. Compression garments and multi layered bandaging are needed to provide support and compression. Exercises include abdominal and pelvic floor exercises, along with diaphragmatic breathing. Manual lymphatic drainage is a technique designed to move fluid away from the swollen genitals to parts that are not affected.