Porter Adventist Hospital provides rehabilitative treatment for the prevention and management of lymphedema. Our team of experienced lymphedema therapists is committed to providing personalized patient care that fosters the best possible treatment outcomes.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema occurs when lymph vessels or nodes are damaged or removed due to trauma, surgery, infection or circulatory disorders. It often develops following the treatment of breast or other types of cancer. Lymphedema generally affects the arms or the legs, but may also affect the head, neck or torso.
The symptoms of lymphedema vary, depending on the stage of progression but early symptoms may include:
- Swelling of an extremity.
- The feeling of fullness or heaviness in the involved limb.
- Clothes or jewelry feeling tight.
Left untreated, the condition will progress through several stages resulting in increased swelling, fibrotic tissue and increased risk of infection.
As soon as a patient is diagnosed with lymphedema, a referral to a qualified lymphedema therapist is imperative so treatment can start as soon as possible. Our team uses Complete Decongestive Therapy for lymphedema, which includes:
- Manual lymph drainage
- Therapeutic exercise
- Meticulous skin care
Treatment sessions last from 60 to 90 minutes and are required on a daily basis (Monday-Friday) for the first two to four weeks. Our therapists will work closely with a patient’s referring or primary physician for any necessary follow-up care.