The National Lymphedema Network (www.lymphnet.org) defines "LYMPHEDEMA as an abnormal collection of high-protein fluid just beneath the skin. This swelling or edema, occurs most commonly in the arm or leg, but may also occur in other parts of the body including the breast, trunk, head and neck, or genitals. Lymphedema usually develops when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes removed (secondary lymphedema) but can also be present when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired due to a hereditary condition (primary lymphedema)."
- Feeling of heaviness in the arm or leg
- Swelling of the arms, legs, neck, face, trunk
- Tightness of the skin or tissue
- Difficulty fitting into clothing (i.e., sleeve area)
- Difficulty fitting the jewelries (i.e., rings, bracelets, watch)
- Difficulty swallowing (Head and Neck Lymphedema)
- Decreased flexibility in the trunk, arms, legs, mouth opening
- Skin Changes
- Skin redness and warmth
- Pain or discomfort
- Post-surgical limitations
- Cancer-related Surgery (i.e., surgical resection in the breast, colon, prostate, gynecological, head and neck, sentinel lymph node biopsy, axillary lymph node biopsy)
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) includes:
- Manual Lymph Drainage
- Compression Therapy through Short Stretch Bandaging
- Individualized Exercise Program
- Skin Care
- Scar Tissue prevention and management
- Manual Therapy for soft tissue restrictions
- Compression sleeves or stockings
- Aquatic Therapy
- Home Program
Treatment is provided 1:1 patient/therapist ratio. Treatment is provided by the Certified Lymphedema Therapists.
We have a PT and OTR who are both Certified Lymphedema Therapists. They have completed 135 hours of training under the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. The school is one of four schools as members of the North American Lymphedema Education Association (NALEA). Both therapists attend annual continuing education to stay abreast with lymphedema updates on research, technology, surgeries and tools.
We have a Speech Language Pathologist who completed her Head and Neck Lymphedema Training with the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy (NALEA member).
- Approaches and techniques for therapies provided for post-surgical cancer related conditions must consider medical history. Symptoms may develop days, months or even years after surgery.
- Axillary Web Syndrome (Cording) often develops as a side effect of the Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) or Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (ALND). The presentation is rope-like structures under the skin of your inner arm that may extend to the elbow or wrist. In some cases you will not see or feel the cords but there will be the sensation of pain and tightness.
- Some patients present with neural symptoms of tingling sensations and arm being asleep or restless. This could be caused from the soft tissue restrictions or scar post surgery or from the swelling.