SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
Lymphoedema is a chronic debilitating condition characterised by an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in interstitial spaces due to insufficient functioning of the lymphatic system. The condition may be referred to as primary (congenital malformation) or secondary (damage to the lymphatic system) lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is currently incurable, but can be alleviated with appropriate treatment. However, if ignored, it can progress and become difficult to manage.