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What is the Right Lymphatic Duct?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The right lymphatic duct is one of the vessels in the lymphatic system of the body. It is formed by the joining of the jugular lymphatic vessel with the vessels of the lymph nodes on the right side of the body. This duct can be found in the neck, and is also known as the right thoracic duct.

All of the lymph ducts are used to transport lymph, a liquid that is similar in many respects to the plasma portion of blood. It contains white blood cells, particularly the type known as lymphocytes, which are a crucial part of the immune system.

The opening to the right lymphatic duct is protected by two valves that are responsible for preventing blood from the veins to flow into the duct. These are called semilunar valves and are located in the arteries that leave the heart during blood circulation.

This duct works to drain lymph from various areas of the body, particularly the upper right portion of the trunk, also referred to the right thoracic cavity, and the right arm. It also drains lymph from the head and neck on the right side of the body. In some people, lymph is drained from the bottom of the left lung by the right lymphatic duct as well.

The primary role of the lymphatic system is to help the immune system by destroying pathogens, like harmful bacteria, and to help filter waste so that the lymph can be returned safely to the circulatory system. Another job of the system is to remove excess fluid and other waste materials from the cells and tissues of the body. It also works to deliver oxygen, hormones, and nutrients to the cells. A properly working immune system is vitally important to health and survival.

There are several diseases that can affect the proper functioning of the lymphatic system, including the right lymphatic duct. For this reason, any suspected infection or swelling of the lymph glands should be reported to a medical professional immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Nicolas Steno is credited with the discovery of this duct. Steno is often considered to be the father of geology, but his notable work in the field of anatomy is also something for which he is also remembered.

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Discussion Comments
By anon106431 — On Aug 25, 2010

I am diagnosed with enlarged lymph nodes in my lungs. I had been complaining for over a year to doctors having pain in my right arm and right side of my chest that starts with ticking in my throat in the right side and goes down to my chest, becomes painful with shortness of breath.

If I can understand the lymphatic system by just reading this information online, how dumb a doctor has to be, to understand my symptoms. My question at this time is, the very first time I complained about having pain in my right side of the chest was when I went to Eden Hospital's emergency center over two years ago, the doctor laughed his ass of and said I am fine, I had to beg him for antibiotics because I had a high fever. The symptoms looked like pneumonia symptoms but he refused to do my chest x ray.

The second time I complained about the same issue at Contra Costa Hospital to Dr. Miller, who laughed his butt off also, but at the same time he looked at my X ray and said my X ray does not look good. The cloudy area in my both lungs is a sign of serious lungs problem, might not be cancer but serous.

If the lymph nodes in my lungs are enlarged since the time doctor at Eden Emergency saw me, then how much danger I am in? How would it have made difference in my health condition if I was diagnose properly at Eden Emergency center and if this issue was caught at that time?

Please write your response accordingly. I am not planning to sue anyone. All I need to know how much danger a doctor can put a patient in or was it a doctor or one of my relatives disguised behind my doctor to kill me?

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