Hereditary Lymphedema of the Leg – A Case Report


  • Birgit Heinig Center of Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine, Academic Teaching Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Friedrichstrasse 41, 01067, Dresden
  • Torello Lotti Department of Dermatology, University of Rome “G. Marconi”, Rome, Italy; Department of Biotechnology, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BC, Delft
  • Georgi Tchernev Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Dermatologic Surgery, Medical Institute of Ministry of Interior, and Onkoderma Policlinic for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Sofia
  • Uwe Wollina Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Academic Teaching Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, Friedrichstrasse 41, 01067, Dresden



Primary lymphedema, Secondary lymphedema, Complex decongestive therapy, Immunocompromised district, Erysipelas, Fibrosis, Elephantiasis nostra


Primary of hereditary lymphedema is a rare but progressive disease. It is yet not curable. We present a 48-year-old male patient with hereditary lymphedema of his left leg, that was realised by minor trauma (able twist) when he was seven years old. He had never been treated for lymphedema but experienced multiple erysipelas during his life. After diagnostic procedures to exclude other causes of leg swelling, the diagnosis of hereditary lymphedema of the leg, stage III was confirmed. We initialized complex decongestive therapy. During two weeks of intensive treatment, the circumference of the left leg could be reduced by 10 cm. This case illustrates the "natural course" hereditary lymphedema. But it raises the hope that even after decades of ignorance, the patients benefits from complex decongestive treatment. Therapeutic nihilism is unnecessary and poses lymphedema patients to risks of infection and secondary malignancies like Stewart-Trewes syndrome.


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How to Cite

Heinig B, Lotti T, Tchernev G, Wollina U. Hereditary Lymphedema of the Leg – A Case Report. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2017 Jul. 19 [cited 2023 Jan. 26];5(4):451-3. Available from:

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