Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be a stressful and frightening experience. Fortunately, advances in treatment have provided breast cancer patients with more effective options than ever before. Dr. Marla W. Dudak, MD of Boca Raton is proud to offer her patients a variety of state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment options to ensure that they receive the highest quality of care possible. One of these technologies, known as the L-Dex, is a test that can determine a patient’s risk for lymphedema after surgery. Continue reading to find out more about lymphedema and the role that the L-Dex plays in patient health and wellness.
What is lymphedema?
The lymphatic system is a network of nodes, vessels, and ducts responsible for circulating a fluid known as lymph throughout the body. The lymph nodes, located throughout the body, are continuously filtering the lymph and producing immune cells to fight infection. If one of these nodes is missing or becomes obstructed, impaired, or damaged, fluid buildup and swelling can occur in the affected area—this condition is known as lymphedema.
How does the L-Dex help?
When a breast cancer patient decides with her physician that surgery is her best treatment option, the surgeon may also remove nearby lymph nodes to determine if the cancer has spread. In these cases, the L-Dex can be used to determine the patient’s risk for developing lymphedema after the nodes are removed. Testing with the L-Dex is completely non-invasive and involves conducting a harmless electric current through both arms. Using the measurement from the electrical current, the L-Dex is able to detect any difference in fluid buildup between the patient’s arms and compare them against a normal ‘healthy’ standard.
With this information, a breast care specialist can detect the signs of lymphedema in its earliest stages when the patient may not experience noticeable symptoms. The condition can be more effectively treated and monitored with the help of this technology. If you would like to learn more about the advantages of L-Dex testing, contact the practice of Dr. Marla W. Dudak today at (888) 418-6759.