ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have peripheral edema (worse in heat), brought on after a rib injury?

Question

Why do I have peripheral edema (worse in heat), brought on after a rib injury?

Insulinoma removal 6/20/11 Lower Left back rib injury 6/21/2012 Swelling Started After this injury, worse in heat.) Get sharp pain in kidney area when I breath deep. Adhesion removal from first surgery. Was hoping something would be found about the leg swelling. Nothing Found.

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your symptoms. It sounds like you have been dealing with quite a few illnesses of late, and this peripheral edema is understandably difficult for you. In evaluating your symptoms, it will be necessary to undergo a thorough review of your medical history as well as a physical exam. I would also need to review some basic blood tests. As a result, I strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician. Swelling of the legs, or peripheral edema, can have many causes. Although this swelling began after your rib injury, it may very well be unrelated. A cardiomyopathy, or abnormalities of the heart muscle, can lead to heart failure, which can cause swelling. Abnormalities of the kidneys leading to renal failure also lead to fluid retention. In certain diseases, patients have an abnormally low level of protein in their blood. This is often due to excess protein excretion from the kidneys or gastrointestinal tract. Additional, liver disease leading to cirrhosis can cause edema. Finally, any sort of obstruction to the lymphatic drainage system of your legs can cause edema. This can occur after surgeries or often after radiation to the pelvis as part of cancer treatment. I encourage you to discuss these possibilities with a primary care physician. You will need to undergo some basic blood work. Based on your physical exam, you may also need additional testing.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.