Lymphedema (swelling of the arm, leg, chest) is a condition patients may development in a mild way during the first few weeks after undergoing surgery for removal of lymph nodes or radiation to the lymph nodes area. In most instances, the swelling of the area is barely visible, with the only sign being that the sleeves or pant leg feels tight on the surgical side and not on the other side.
The condition usually resolves itself within a few months because the remaining lymph channels compensate for those removed during surgery or irradiated. The caution is that once lymph node tissue has been removed, the person remains susceptible to lymphedema indefinitely - possibly many years later.
If, despite adhering to the advised precautions, you notice even slight swelling (more than ½ '') redness, hardness, or warmth in your involved limb or chest you should notify your physician immediately. The majority of those who start therapy shortly after the episode (before the limb swells excessively) may improve significantly and rapidly. Should you be experiencing edema/symptoms of swelling, it is important to have your physician evaluate it right away.
Certified Lymphedema Therapists
Lymphedema Therapy requires complex knowledge and skills to ensure the treatment is provided in a manner that is safe and effective for the client. Our clinic provides lymphedema services only by therapists who are certified in Lymphedema Therapy, designated by the credentials CLT (Certified Lymphedema Therapist).
Creating Your Plan of Care
Our therapists will evaluate your symptoms and work with you to find a plan of care that will help alleviate your symptoms and teach you long-term prevention and management of your lymphedema. The plan of care can include:
- Manual Lymphatic Therapy (a specialized technique of helping the lymphatic fluid move around the area of obstruction).
- Therapeutic Activities and Exercises to help you regain strength, range-of-motion, and functional use of the affected body part.
- Compression bandaging and compression garment fitting to maximize lymphedema reduction.
- Skin and nail care to reduce the risk of infection and recurrence of lymphedema.
- Personalized education and self-care, so that you can feel confident in managing and preventing lymphedema re-occurrence after therapy.