Managing Swelling / Lymphedema

Lymphedema is an accumulation of fluid in the interstitial tissue due to a lymphatic transport deficit. It may occur in after axillary node or sentinel node dissection lymph node surgical removal). It is important to recognize early signs of swelling in a arm or leg, so that proper effective management of the swelling can be obtained by working with a medial team.

Bodies in Balance Physical Therapy employs five therapists who are certified in lymphedema management to offer comprehensive decongestive therapy for swelling of limbs often related to cancer and its treatment. Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy includes:

  • Manual Lymph Drainage (gentle, rhythmical hands-on techniques to help move the fluid out of the effected limb)
  • Compression Therapy (either with the use of multi-layer wraps/ bandaging or with compression sleeve wear)
  • Skin Care (to prevent the risk of cellulitis and infection)
  • Possible Vasopneumatic Compression (with a gradient compression pump)
  • Patient Education (to assure that the patient has the knowledge to correctly manage his/ her lymphedema outside the clinic)

Educational Materials from the National Lymphedema Network

Lymphedema Resource: http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/lymphedema
Cancer Resource: http://www.livingbeyondbreastcancer.net

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