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Kidney Diseases

Weeping leg edema

01/27/2000

Question:

My father has started dialysis 5 times a day two months ago.His hand just recently has begun to swell.It is very large. His doctor called it weeping leg edema from retaing fluid. His hand is starting to leak from the skin now and the swelling is a little lower. What can you tell me about weeping leg edema?

Answer:

Weeping leg edema means a back up of pressure within the small veins and capillaries that drain a specific region of the body. It was first described when there was obstruction to the venous and capillary blood vessels draining the lower extremeties. When the pressure gets high enough, the thin walls of the small veins and capillaries become leaky allowing the water portion of the blood to leak out. This fluid fills all the spaces outside the blood vessels and eventually ‘weeps` out on to the skin.

There are several causes for the back up of pressure. What was the problem that required dialysis 5 times a day? Was the dialysis procedure done using blood vessels in your father`s arm? Your primary care provider should be able to answer these questions. I hope this information is helpful.

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Response by:

Philip W Hall, 3rd, MD Philip W Hall, 3rd, MD
Formerly, Professor Emeritus of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University