Lymphedema Management

The lymphatic system is a unique network of tissues and organs. Edema, or swelling, can occur when there is an increase in the amount of fluid or because of a blockage in the lymphatic system. The accumulation of lymph is called lymphedema.¹ Lymphedema is a chronic condition affecting 100 million men, women, and children around the world and at least 3 million Americans. The most common symptoms include severe fatigue, a heavy of swollen limb or localized fluid accumulation in other body areas, including the head and neck, discoloration of the skin overlying the edema, and eventual deformity.² Lymphedema presents a challenge for patients, as well as health care providers. When there is even the slightest break in the skin, bacteria can enter and thrive in this fluid, causing infection and skin break down. To assist the patient in controlling lymphedema, there are many physical therapy modalities to treat this chronic condition to improve comfort and increase mobility.

Common Conditions or Diagnosis for Lymphedema Program
    Diagnosis of Lymphedema                               Post-Radiation Therapy Swelling
    Post-Surgical Swelling                                     Extremity Swelling with Skin Breakouts

Our Interdisciplinary Approach

Skilled Nursing
    Complete Skilled Nursing Assessment             Medication Review and Teaching
    Diet and Fluid Management                             Vital Sign Monitoring – BP/O2 Sat/Weight
    Wound Care, if needed                                    Educational Tools for Patient

Physical Therapy/ Occupational Therapy
    Brief Review of History of Present Illness          Strength and ROM Assessment
    Sensory & Proprioception Assessment            Gait and Balance Assessment
    Girth Measurement                                         Lymphatic Massage Therapy
    Compression Bandaging                                 Remedial Exercises
    Self-Wrapping/Bandaging Teaching                  Patient /Caregiver Education
    Home Safety Education                                  Identify and Measure Proper Compression Garment

Home Health Aide 
    Grooming and Bathing Assistance                  Light Housekeeping Pertaining to Patient Care Area

¹ 2011, MedlinePlus,U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health
² 2011, Wikipedia