What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is swelling in an arm or leg due to an obstruction in the lymphatic system, which moves lymph fluid through the body. Lymph fluid carries proteins and waste products to the nodes, where they are filtered and removed. If lymph nodes or vessels are damaged or removed, the fluid cannot leave and builds up, causing swelling.
How is lymphedema treated?
We offer individualized care for patients diagnosed with lymphedema. Our experienced, licensed and professional therapists work closely with you and your physician to thoroughly evaluate your condition and develop a plan of treatment. The lymphedema treatment offered at BayCare is called complete decongestive therapy (CDT), which is considered the worldwide gold standard for this condition. CDT includes several of these components:
- Manual lymph drainage
- Compression bandaging
- Compression garments for daytime use
- Compression garments for nighttime use
- Gradient sequential vasopneumatic compression
- Manual therapy for adhesions (scar tissue)
- Therapeutic exercise
- Extensive education on the condition
Treatments last, on average, four to six weeks. We will work with your insurance and equipment companies to arrange any medical equipment and/or garments needed to manage this condition after you have finished your therapy.