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Vascular Surgery

Severe leg edema



My elderly mother in law has congestive heart failure, and severe leg edema. In spite of drug therepy, and many physician/hospital visits, we can`t control it.

Recently, she slightly wounded the area of edema by bumping her leg on the corner of her bed. The wound resulted in the draining of the swollen area, I would estimate over 1/2 pint of fluid in about 1 hours time.

She was estatic. The wound was of no consequence to her, but she raved about how light her leg felt, and that it hadn`t felt that good for years. Visually, the leg appeared very close to normal size for about 5-7 days.

The question: (Please don`t laugh.) Are there any medically approved procedures for mechanically draining leg edema? I even looked up Leeches in the encyclopedia. I couldn`t believe the relief she obtained. Thanks in advance.


Hello. I would recommend she see her doctor about getting an evaluation of her vein valves and getting into some compression stockings. You should make sure her diuretics are working appropriately as well. Nothing really works for getting the legs down in size without getting the heart failure under control. Good luck!

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Response by:

Amy B Reed, MD Amy B Reed, MD
No longer associated