Lymphedema Therapy

Specialized Therapy for Lymphedema with Non-Invasive Treatment

Lymphedema is condition caused by a compromised lymphatic system, showing up in most patients with swelling typically in their arms and legs from the retention of localized, protein-rich fluids. Symptoms may not show up for years, but can be painful when they do. Left untreated, lymphedema can ultimately interfere with wound healing and invite bacteria, resulting in infection. Severe cases can be debilitating.

We think it’s important to know more about this condition and understand your treatment options, which Empathy Care can provide. If you have additional questions after reading the following facts about lymphedema therapy, please send an e-mail to our director of nursing, tcallaway@empathycare.org or call us at 561-395-9101. If you're out of the local area, you can reach us toll-free at 800-606-0856. We’re here to help. 
 
Q. Are there different kinds of lymphedema?
Yes. Lymphedema is associated with both a primary and secondary type. Primary lymphedema typically stems from a malformation of the lymphatic system. Secondary lymphedema most commonly occurs from an injury, scarring, excision, and/or radiation therapy of the lymph nodes. Mastectomies and venous insufficiency — poor or impaired flow of venous blood from the legs and feet to the heart — are other causes.

Q. How is lymphedema treated?
Treatment is non-invasive with an approach known as “Complete Decongestive Therapy,” or CDT for short. There are four components to this kind of therapy, including manual lymph drainage, compression therapy, decompression exercises, and skin care. Education is also critical in not only helping patients understand the nature of lymphedema, but in helping them identify the signs and symptoms of infection.

Q. Can any health care professional provide lymphedema therapy?
No! Doctors, nurses and therapists who treat lymphedema must be specially certified. Certification includes at least a 135-hour course. Upon completion of the certification and one year of experience in lymphedema, the clinician becomes eligible to sit for a special exam to earn the proper credentials. Empathy Care’s clinicians include two certified professionals with years of patient experience, expertise, and a genuine empathy for people with whom they work.

Q. Where can I learn more about lymphedema?
There are a number of resources available on the Internet. One that you might find particularly useful is the National Lymphedema Network.
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