Lymphedema

Advanced, Breakthrough Treatments

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a condition that causes swelling, usually to one arm or leg, but can affect both, due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. It happens when your lymph nodes have been damaged, or removed, as part of cancer treatment, or potentially from an infection or disorder.

The lymph system keeps you healthy by circulating lymph fluid throughout your body. When lymphatic vessels can’t remove the fluid due to a blockage, the fluid builds up, causing swelling in the limbs.

Dr. Krikorian is a leading lymphedema expert in the St. Louis area, who provides a range of options, from simple lifestyle changes to breakthrough surgical treatments.

Click here to view A Patient Guide to Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Symptoms of Lymphadema

Symptoms can vary in severity, from barely noticeable to significant, impacting appearance and ability to move your limbs.

  • Swelling in part or all of one arm or leg, including fingers and toes. For some people, both arms or legs will swell.
  • Aching and discomfort in affected limb
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Feeling of tightness and heaviness
  • Thickening or hardening of the skin

Advanced Treatment Options

Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer: This advanced treatment replaces damaged lymph nodes with healthy ones from another part of the body. This can significantly improve drainage and stop the swelling.

Lymphaticovenous Anastomosis: This is a super microsurgery that connects the lymphatic channels to nearby veins to provide a pathway for drainage.

Liposuction: When lymphatic fluid backs up and floods surrounding tissue, it can stimulate fat cells to grow. Liposuction can remove the excess fat and restore your limb to its normal size.

Decongestive Therapy: If symptoms are not severe, we simply work to reduce swelling, which may include using compression bandages, arm pumps, exercises, and/or dietary changes.

Get Relief from the Swelling and Discomfort in Your Limbs​

Lymphedema does not have to be the end of your active life or normal activities. We can get your arm or leg looking, feeling, and functioning better.

Get Treated Sooner

Because we’re highly specialized, with six treatment locations in the St. Louis area, we’re able to schedule your exam and treatment much sooner than other facilities. Call us at 314-849-0923 or complete this contact form to get started.

Schedule a Consultation

What To Expect

Consultation

Dr. Krikorian will begin by examining your legs and feet. If he determines you have lymphedema your note from that visit will be written and signed before sending to our lymphedema pump company of choice, Tactile. Tactile will then reach out to you and schedule a time for you to be seen at our Farmington office when we have clinic, or they will come out to your house and fit you for the pumps.

Procedures

You will be fitted for pumps by our lymphedema pump company, Tactile. Once fitted, you will be instructed to wear the pump for 1 hour on each leg 1-2 times a day. The Tactile representative will explain wear time and usage in further detail when being fitted.

Recovery

You should notice improvement almost immediately after you begin usage. You may be placed on a diuretic to ensure none of the edema to the legs is water weight.

"Very Knowledgable!"
"Very Knowledgable!"Happy Patient
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After my stress test was normal, Dr. Krikorian explained that the test was around 70% accurate and that I should pay close attention to my body for any warning signs. A few weeks later I was exercising when my energy was zapped in less than 10 minutes and I had a pain under the sternum. I called Dr. Krikorian and he scheduled a cardiac catheterization the next day. He said I showed no sign of a heart attack but he found a 99% blockage in the circumflex artery, which he opened with a stent. I am grateful that he explained possible warning signs and then responded quickly with the catheterization and stent.
"My Leg is Feeling So Much Better!"
"My Leg is Feeling So Much Better!"Marlene G.
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Dr. Krikorian performed a laser ablation to treat the vein disease in my right leg. I didn’t even realize how much my left leg hurt from varicose veins until he fixed my right leg! I thought the treatment would be painful, so I was so pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t.
"No More Pain!"
"No More Pain!"MaryAnn R.
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My daughter could not believe how good my legs looked! She is going to see Dr. Krikorian too. I was completely satisfied with my treatment and am no longer in pain. The result is fantastic and I highly recommend going to see Dr. Krikorian if you are experiencing any leg pain.
"I Walked 2 Miles the Next Day!"
"I Walked 2 Miles the Next Day!"Shirley M.
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I had suffered with varicose veins for years. I recently went to see Dr. Krikorian at Virtue Vein & Lymphatic Center where he told me everything I needed to know about vein disease and the treatment options. He performed a laser ablation on my diseased vein, and I was able to resume my normal activity the day after my procedure!
"They Listen Very Well!"
"They Listen Very Well!"Jeff K.
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Dr. Krikorian is a busy man, but he will take the time necessary to really listen to you and figure out what the problem is. Most doctors these days seem to be talking to the computer, and not the person. Well, here it is the other way around.
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Lymphedema FAQ

Something interfered with your lymph node. It’s most often from cancer treatment, though sometimes cancer itself can cause it. It may also be due to an infection or another disorder. Risk factors are:

  • Advanced age
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Being overweight

Tactile, the lymphedema treatment company we use, works very hard to get everything approved by insurance prior to contacting you.

Lymphedema is manageable, however, is not curable. It’s mainly a lifelong treatment process. 

While this is the goal, we can’t say it always will because there can be other factors causing edema (swelling) as well, but if it is purely lymphedema they should greatly reduce in size.

Wearing compression stockings at least knee high. This prevents the lymph fluid build up that is lymphedema.