Lymphedema Therapy

The lymphatic system maintains the fluid balance within the body.  If there is disturbance or impairment of the lymph transport system or there is venous obstruction, it can lead to swelling, called lymphedema.  

Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein-rich fluid that collects in the extremities, but can also be seen in the face, neck and trunk.  Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive disease that continues to worsen over time when not treated.

 

Causes of Lymphedema

There are two main categories of lymphedema, primary and secondary.

Primary - a developmental abnormality of the lymphatic system, either congenital or hereditary.

Secondary - a mechanical insufficiency of the lymphatic system due to blocked or cut lymph vessels.  Most common causes include:

  • Surgical removal of lymph nodes for cancer treatment 
  • Radiation therapy
  • Accidental trauma
  • Repeated infections
  • Immobility due to paralysis
  • Chronic venous insufficiency

Signs and symptoms of lymphedema

  • Swelling of a limb or body part, usually the arm and/or hand and leg and/or feet
  • Feelings of heaviness, tightness, numbness
  • Skin thickening and dryness
  • Limitation of movement

Lymphedema Treatment

The most effective and least invasive approach to lymphedema treatment is Complete Decongestive Therapy.  This includes:  manual lymphatic drainage, bandaging and compression, skin care, and exercises for range of motion and edema reduction.

Self-management at home is a lifelong commitment in order to maintain what has been achieved in therapy.  

Benefits of Lymphedema treatment

Reducing the limb size and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the main goal of lymphedema treatment.  It also assists to maintain the integrity of your skin, reduce the risk of cellulitis, DVT and other infections. 

Jupiter Medical Center’s Lymphedema Management Program offers clinicians with advanced training in lymphedema assessment and management. Our program can help prevent lymphedema and, if it occurs, help you proactively manage the condition. Lymphedema therapy is offered at the Cary Grossman Health & Wellness Center.

For more information, or to make an appointment, call 561-263-5775.