What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a condition involving swelling as a result of insufficiency of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is an important part of our circulatory system and our immune system. If lymph notes are inadequate, destroyed or removed, swelling may develop in the area which those lymph nodes would normally protect.

Lymphedema may occur as a result of insufficiency at birth or it may occur due to damage of the lymphatic system. For example, during breast cancer treatment, the lymph nodes near the breast may be removed or damages resulting in swelling of the arm.

Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema:

  • Swelling of the limb on the involved side after cancer treatment
  • Heaviness of the limb
  • Clothes or jewelry are tight
  • Skin feels hard or tight

If you or someone you know has sever edema or a high amount of swelling it is important that it is evaluated by a specialist in lymphedema management. If the immune function of the lymphatic system is compromised, infections or further damage can be avoided by taking simple stems provided in lymphedema management.

Lymphatic System:

Lymphedema Diagram

Prevention of Lymphedema:

Protect Your Skin:
Animal scratches, insect bites, injections high blood pressure, skin burns, sunburns, hot tubs, and baths can flair lymphedema.

Avoid Injury:
Avoid overexertion with the repetitious activities with the effected limbs and always wear protective gloves while cleaning or gardening.

Live Healthy:
Avoid weight gain or obesity and exercise in moderation.

 

Treatment Of Lymphedema:

At The Rehab Group we use a comprehensive approach tailored to each patients needs.

Treatments include:

  • Education of Lymphedmea
  • Manual Lymph Drainage
  • Multi-layered bandaging
  • Pneumatic compression device
  • Therapeutic exercise
  • Compression Garments