The lymphedema therapy program provides comprehensive treatment, management and education to patients who have abnormal lymphatic flow due to cancer, surgery, radiation, vascular insufficiency, infection, trauma or unknown cause.
Lymphedema therapy may include:
- Restoration of skin with follow-up skin care – Patients are taught how to care for their skin to prevent infection. They are also instructed on safety measures to follow at home.
- Manual lymph drainage – This is a specific type of massage used by the therapist that removes excess fluid from the tissues to decrease the size of the affected limb.
- Compression therapy / wrapping – Compression bandages and garments are applied to put external pressure on the affected area to prevent re-accumulation of fluid in the limbs.
- Therapeutic exercise and functional activities – Exercise is a critical component to lymphedema therapy. Exercises will be performed and taught to promote lymphatic flow, increase joint range of motion and will be tailored to a patient's specific needs.
- Patient education – Instruction begins at the initial session and continues throughout treatment. Topics include self-massage, self-bandaging, home exercise programs and skin care.