Lymphedema & Edema Management

WHAT IS LYMPHEDEMA?

Common reasons for lymphedema

  • Side effects from cancer treatment Surgery and surgery combined with radiation therapy used to eradicate the cancer can damage the lymphatic system.

 

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) Swelling develops as the valves in the veins fail to shut completely allowing progressive changes to tissue in the affected area.

  • Orthopedic Edema Lymphatic system is overloaded following an orthopedic trauma or surgery.

  • Other Edema Swelling may result from scarring, repeated infections or prolonged sedentary positioning.

HOW DO WE TREAT LYMPHEDEMA?

COMPLEX DECONGESTIVE PHYSIOTHERAPY

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
MLD is a light touch massage which promotes lymph flow through the superficial lymph vessels to channel the excess fluid into healthy lymph nodes and back to the abdomen for the body to remove.

Compression
Compression bandaging is applied during the active treatment phase to the involved area to decrease fibrosis and reduce the size of the limb. Once reduction is stable, compression garments are used to maintain the change.

Exercise
An individualized exercise program will be designed by the therapist for each patient. Exercise improves muscular contraction, joint mobility, and increases return of lymph and venous fluids.

Self Care
Individualized instruction in skin care, self manual lymphatic drainage, and application of compression bandaging and garments.

Lymphedema is swelling caused by obstruction or damage in the lymph drainage system. The lymph system is an integral part of the immune and circulatory system. Lymphedema can occur naturally or can be related to trauma, radiation therapy or surgery.

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