Our mission is to provide optimum patient care by designing an individualized treatment plan for individuals with Lymphedema. Care is provided by qualified clinicans who have undergone extensive training in both Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy.
- What is Lymphedema?
- What are the types of Lymphedema?
- What is the Treatment of Lymphedema?
- What does Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) consist of?
- Who is Appropriate for Treatment?
- Are there any Contraindications to Treatment?
- How do I begin treatment?
- What will happen on my initial visit?
WHATE IS LYMPHEDEMA?
Lymphedema is defined as an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the soft tissues caused by insufficiency, blockage or removal of lymphatic vessels or nodes. Over time, this leads to chronic inflammation and fibrosis in the effected region. Individuals with lymphedema are also at increased risk for infection in involved areas.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF LYMPHEDEMA?
There are two types of lymphedema: primary and secondary. Primary lymphedema may present at birth or adolescence and can involve any part of the body, often for unknown reasons. Secondary lymphedema is caused by damage or injury to the lymphatic system such as lymph node removal, radiation therapy, or infection.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT OF LYMPHEDEMA?
Lymphedema is a chronic disease for which there is no known cure. However, effective treatment does exist and long-term management of the disease is possible. Therapy is available to decrease edema which can then be maintained through a home program. This is called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). Treatment is unique to each individual, based on individual needs and goals.
WHATE DOES COMPLETE DECONGESTIVE THERAPY (CDT) CONSIST OF?
- Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) – A gentle, non-invasive manual treatment to improve the activity of the lymphatic system and re-rout lymph flow around blocked areas.
- Compression Bandaging – The application of short stretch bandages over effected areas to assist in fluid return and breakdown of scar tissue.
- Therapeutic Exercises – Exercises are performed with bandages or support garments on to increase venous and lymphatic return.
- Skin and Nail Care and Infection Prevention
- Instruction in Self-Care – Includes instruction in skin and nail care, infection prevention, lifestyle modification, self-bandaging, compression garment use, exercise, self-MLD, and need for follow-up treatment.
WHO IS APPROPRIATE FOR TREATMENT?
Individuals who have been diagnosed with lymphedema of all types are candidates for evaluation. Duration and intensity of treatment is dependent upon the severity of Lymphedema and individual goals. A physician’s referral is necessary for evaluation and treatment.
ARE THERE ANY CONTRADICTIONS TO TREATMENT?
Individuals with acute infections, cardiac edema (CHF), renal insufficiency, active malignancy, or blood clots (DVTs) may not be appropriate for treatment.
HOW DO I BEGIN TREATMENT?
Referrals are required from a Physician. We are committed to working closely with the patient, physician and family. The physician progress notes on a regular basis. In this way we work to increase communication among all involved in order to enhance patient progress and outcome.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN ON MY INITIAL VISIT?
The initial visit will consist of a one hour visit with a therapist. Please bring the referral from your doctor, a list of medications that you may be taking and arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to register.