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What is edema?

Edema is an observable swelling in certain parts of the body. Edema most commonly occurs in the feet and legs (peripheral edema). The swelling is the result of the accumulation of excess fluid under the skin in the spaces within the tissues that are outside of the blood vessels (interstitial spaces or compartments). Most of the body's fluids that are found outside of the cells are normally stored in two spaces; the blood vessels (where the fluids are called the blood volume) and the interstitial spaces (where the fluids are called the interstitial fluid).