What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a condition of swelling of the tissues in the arm, chest, leg or trunk. It occurs because lymph nodes have been removed or damaged, causing impaired flow of lymphatic fluid.
Primary lymphedema also known as elephantiasis, is an inherited condition resulting in abnormal formation of lymphatic vessels. These malformations most commonly cause swelling that affects the feet and legs.
Secondary lymphedema is often caused by injury, scarring, excision and radiation therapy of the lymph nodes.
Treatment and surgery for upper extremities such as breast cancer can result in arm lymphedema. Leg lymphedema can occur after surgery or radiation therapy for cancers of the lower extremities such as: prostate, testicular, cervical, ovarian, uterine, vulvar or cancer of the bladder.
Lymphedema can occur following almost any surgical procedure causing pain, discomfort and slow healing of the wound. Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage reduces swelling. while increasing healing time.
Lymphedema can be treated and a better quality of life can be experienced with a well designed treatment plan!
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) therapy is the holistic treatment of choice.
Patients receive MLD to increase lymphatic flow, which in turn decreases swelling and edema.
- Once maximum reduction is met, they are measured for compression bandages and garments
- that will aid in keeping the edema down.
Handouts with exercises that have been shown to be beneficial are provided that can be used for self care.