Head and Neck Lymphedema

head and neck lymphedema thumbnail
head and neck lymphedema thumbnail

More than one-third of the body’s lymph nodes are contained in the head and neck. Surgery and radiation disrupt lymphatic function by removing lymph nodes, cutting lymph vessels and scarring lymphatic capillaries.

Impaired lymphatic drainage leads to swelling, inflammation and fibrosis of internal and external structure and surround tissues. These changes can impair swallowing, breathing, speaking and range of motion.

We’ve put this “Head and Neck Lymphedema” handout together to help you be better prepared.

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