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Elephantiasis disease – pictures

Elephantiasis disease – pictures

The disease, called elephant leg (elephantiasis) is a local severe swelling as a  result of abnormal drainage of lymphatic fluid. This condition develops as a complication of different diseases. In European geographical latitudes the elephantiasis is most common surgery after mammary gland in connection with breast cancer. In cases with cancer metastases in axillar lymph nodes, they need to be surgically removed. Lymphatic routes from all areas of the body pass through several groups of lymph nodes before entering the bloodstream. Removing an entire lymph node group destroys anatomical structure of the lymphatic system in this area and block the movement of lymphatic fluid. In case you need to choose the less “evil” of both, it is better to take the risk of developing elephantiasis than leaving cancer metastases.



Surgery for breast cancer with removal of the entire breast (including nipple) is called a mastectomy. In most of the cases are removed also axillar lymph nodes in order to be histologically examined for metastases. Variants of this surgical operation can be different, depending on the removal of muscles. Because of the entire removal of the breast there is no need of radiotherapy. After the surgical removal a second operation can be performed which aims to restore the appearance of the breast and lymph flow of the hand to prevent the development of elephantiasis.

In many cases it is possible the breast cancer to be removed, and also a part of the surrounding tissue without damaging the entire breast. This operation is called a partial mastectomy or segmental mastectomy. Typically in such an operation grain remains intact and in most cases should be made a separate incision to take samples of lymph nodes in the armpit. Moreover, after partial mastectomy it is necessary to hold and radiotherapy to reduce the risk of local re – occurrence of cancer growth.

In tropical and subtropical countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America state elephant foot is found in a group of parasitic diseases transmitted by blood – sucking insects: mosquitoes, hornets, evil fillies. Over 2.5 billion people live on these continents in countries where these diseases occur. Under imminent threat of contamination are almost 1 billion people. For the first time the agents were discovered in the 18th century while studying fluid from hydrocele. This is the liquid that accumulates in the infected scrotum. The parasites enter the body by the saliva of an infected mosquito and congregate and multiply in the lymphatic system, thereby block the movement of lymph liquid and cause severe swelling. Invaded mammary glands of women look as large tumors and can reach the pelvis. Scrotum in men also may reach gigantic size and weight to 25 kg. Patients with elephantiasis remain invalids for a life time.


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