Lymphedema is chronic swelling
in the arms or legs. It results from excess fluid buildup in the
tissues because the lymphatic system is not working right. Lymphedema
may occur when people have lymph nodes or lymph vessels damaged or removed
as the result of cancer surgeries, radiation therapy or from an accident.
The most common effect from lymphedema is swelling. Swelling
can then cause pain, loss of movement and can cause an increased risk
of infection. If you notice swelling of an arm or leg, see your doctor.
If you are diagnosed with lymphedema, you may be referred to physical or
occupational therapy. We can assist you with a plan to decrease swelling
and teach you skills to manage future swelling at home.
Therapy will consist of lymph drainage massage,
medical compression bandaging, exercise advice and training in a home
management program. You may also be prescribed a compression garment
to help control swelling.