Lymphedema develops as a result of lymph vessel or lymph node damaged due to surgery or radiation, scar tissue formation or remove during the axillary lymph node dissection or sentinal node biopsy.
Lymphedema is a challenging condition; however with therapy and a home program, it can be effectively managed. Treatment can improve your quality of life and assist you in returning to your home, work and social physical activities.
Lymphedema Treatment and Therapeutic Procedures
While it is not usually possible to repair the damage done to the lymphatic system, it is possible to move lymph fluid from the affected region to an area where the lymphatics are working normally. The fluid can then be drained back to the bloodstream.
- Manual Lymph Drainage mobilizations to stimulate lymph drainage and reduce swelling
- Multi-layered compression bandaging or compression braces to control edema reduction obtained with lymph drainage mobilizations and promote further edema reduction
- Exercise to maximize lymph drainage
- Skin care to maintain a healthy skin condition and reduce the risk of infection
- Referral for fitting of a medical compression garment to maintain edema reduction
- Education to teach patient and family members a lymphedema management home program.
- If indicated, use of a specialized lymphedema pump.