Lymphedema is a common, complex, and inexplicably underappreciated human disease. Despite a history of relative neglect by health care providers and by governmental health care agencies, the last decade has seen an explosive growth of insights into, and approaches to, the problem of human lymphedema. The current review highlights the significant advances that have occurred in the investigative and clinical approaches to lymphedema, particularly over the last decade. This review summarizes the progress that has been attained in the realms of genetics, lymphatic imaging, and lymphatic surgery. Newer molecular insights are explored, along with their relationship to future molecular therapeutics. Growing insights into the relationships among lymphedema, obesity, and other comorbidities are important to consider in current and future responses to patients with lymphedema.
Keywords: ion channel; lymph; lymphatic vessels; lymphedema; obesity.