What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive condition that causes an abnormal accumulation of fluid in parts of the body. The lymph nodes do not drain properly and cause the affected area to become large and swollen. The most commonly affected areas are the legs, arms, head and neck. There is no cure for Lymphedema, but it can be controlled with proper management and care.
Common causes of Lymphedema:
- Cancer treatment
- Hereditary factors
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Key signs of Lymphedema
- Sudden or gradual swelling
- Rings and watches that do not fit
- Affected limb feels heavy
- Hardening or fibrosis of a limb
- Frequent episodes of cellulitis or infections
- Skin “pitting” after pressing a finger into the affected area
Specialized Treatment for Lymphedema
Here at Reliant Medical Group’s Lymphedema Treatment Center we offer Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) performed by our certified Lymphedema therapists in a private setting. Therapy consists of:
Manual lymph drainage – a specialized hands-on treatment (not to be confused with traditional
massage) that redirects the lymphatic circulation and helps restore limbs to a more normal shape and function.
Compression bandaging – minimally elastic cotton bandages are applied to increase tissue pressure in the swollen extremity to prevent the re-accumulation of fluid. This is followed by the use of compression garments.
Therapeutic exercise – exercises are performed with the bandages in place to increase lymph vessel activity and improve lymph circulation.
Self-care techniques – patients are carefully instructed in a home therapy program to care for their Lymphedema.
Take advantage of our expertise
At the Lymphedema Treatment Center our therapists have the experience and knowledge required to help you get your Lymphedema under control. Don’t miss out on the activities you enjoy because of your Lymphedema, contact us today to learn how we can help.
How you can reduce your risk of Lymphedema:
Do not have blood pressure taken, labs, or blood drawn from an arm which has had lymph nodes removed.
- Try to avoid cuts, bug bites, poison ivy, etc.
- Limit sun exposure to avoid sunburn
- Do not wear tight clothing or watches
- Apply moisturizer daily to avoid chaffing