Lymphatic Decompression Sickness: Clinical Manifestations

Lymphatic symptoms are among the more curious manifestations. Lymphatic DCS appears as subcutaneous swelling that is often surprisingly localized. It may lie over sites where there is musculoskeletal pain (which may be coincidental) or at other locations. The upper thorax and shoulder area appear selectively vulnerable. The disorder usually develops over a period of hours after diving and will eventually resolve whether the diver is recompressed or not. It is not usually painful, but it can create a conspicuously odd appearance (e.g. enlarging the breast area in a male patient). The natural history is to complete resolution, and there do not appear to be any long-term sequelae.