What is Lymphedema?
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that transports lymph, a protein-rich fluid back to the blood. Lymphedema is chronic swelling due to an accumulation of this lymph fluid in the soft tissue. The buildup of stagnant fluid causes a mild to severe increase in limb girth, a decrease in tissue healing ability, and a high susceptibility to infections or cellulitis in the affected limb.
Lypmphedema most often occurs in the arm or leg, but can also occur in the face, neck, abdomen, or genitals
Primary lymphedema is the result of missing or impaired lymphatic vessels; symptoms may develop at birth or later in life
Secondary lymphedema, a much more common type, is a result of lymph vessel damage or lymph node removal during surgery or radiation therapy.
It ay also occur after injury, scarring, trauma, or infection of the lymphatic system.
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)
Manual technique which reroutes lymph around blocked or damaged lymph node. This technique also reduces the susceptibility for infection, softens tissue, reduces edema, and improves the appearance and functional use of the extremity.
Short stretch bandages are used to prevent the re-accumulation of evacuated lymph fluid and to break up deposits of accumulated scar and connective tissue. During the active phase of treatment, the bandages stay in place until he next MLD session begins. During the maintenance phase of therapy, the client is encouraged to wear the bandages while sleeping. The client is encouraged to wear compression garment during the day and either a night time garment or self-bandage while sleeping if necessary.
·Evaluation by a therapist includes:
·Complete medical history
·Sensory evaluation & Pain assessment
·Range of motion and muscle testing
·Daily living and work requirements
Exercise, Skin Care, and Infection Prevention
Clients may be taught a series of low breathing exercises to stimulate lymphatic return. Training on skin care, infection recognition and response is also included.
Home Maintenance Instruction
Clients are instructed in self-bandaging, compression garments, and self-MLD for the maintenance phase of therapy. Clients are assisted in the purchase, care, and replacement of an appropriate compression garment.
The therapists at FCMC are highly trained, certified professionals in lymphedema management. We look forward to demonstrating our care, compassion and expertise with you in managing your lymphedema.
Other Diagnosis that can benefit from CDT:
·Chronic venous insufficiency
Fulton County Medical Center Rehabilitation Services
214 Peach Orchard Road, McConnellsburg, Pa 17233
Phone: 717-485-6108 / Fax: 717-485-6327