The 29th World Congress of the International Society of Lymphology will be held in Genoa from September 11 to 15 to discuss the current state of research and treatments for lymphedema, a pathology that has seen a rise in recent years. 


Lymphedema can be genetic or a side effect of surgery; this pathological accumulation of lymph fluid in tissues can have various causes. It results in blockages at one or more points of the “lymphatic highways” that traverse our body, leading to swelling in hands, arms, and legs. In severe cases, this swelling can lead to “elephant limbs,” painful and cumbersome, making simple actions like dressing or washing difficult. 

It is estimated that there are 350 million people with lymphedema worldwide, with 2 million in Italy alone. These numbers are rising sharply, with about 40,000 new cases per year in Italy. 

The good news is that lymphedema can be treated and even prevented. Through specific genetic tests and lymphoscintigraphy, it is possible to map the risk of developing lymphedema, thus allowing for early intervention, as noted by the Agenzia Dire. 

These will be some of the topics at the next World Congress of Lymphology to be held in Genoa, at the Magazzini del Cotone Conference Center (Porto Antico). With over 100 speakers from around the world, the event will feature conferences, continuing education courses, and training dedicated to “Best Clinical Practice,” including specific technological updates in medical, physical, and surgical fields for various lymphatic pathologies, including rare malformative diseases, oncological diseases, and lymphatic complications of malignant tumor treatments, with important clinical-therapeutic implications for prevention. 

Also discussed will be district lymphatic pathologies, not only of the limbs but also of the abdomen (chyliferous lymph vessels) and the thorax (thoracic duct). The World Congress will also focus on lipoma and phlebolymphedema. 


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