Elephantiasis is the enlargement and hardening of limbs or body parts due to tissue swelling.[1][2] It is characterised by oedema, hypertrophy, and fibrosis of skin and subcutaneous tissues, due to obstruction of lymphatic vessels.[2] It may affect the genitalia.[2] The term elephantiasis is often used in reference to (symptoms caused by) parasitic worm infections,[1][2] but may refer to variety of diseases where parts of a person's body swell to massive proportions.[2]

A woman with Elephantiasis tropica
SpecialtyInfectious disease, general surgery


Some conditions that present with elephantiasis include:

Other causes may include:


  1. "Definition of ELEPHANTIASIS". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  2. "elephantiasis", The Free Dictionary, retrieved 2018-06-28
  3. Carlson, Emily (27 March 2013). "Taking the 'Bite' Out of Vector-Borne Diseases - Inside Life Science Series - National Institute of General Medical Sciences". publications.nigms.nih.gov. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  4. "Lymphedema". National Cancer Institute. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
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