Lymphedema Management Program
The goal of our Lymphedema Management Program is to provide the best practice of care by designing a unique treatment plan to meet your needs. Your care will be provided by a qualified Physical or Occupational Therapist who has undergone extensive training in both Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy.
We are an affiliate member of the National Lymphedema Network, find us in the directory.
Certified Lymphedema Therapists
Each of our staff of highly trained Certified Lymphedema Therapists has received at least 135 hours of continuing education training in the Foeldi Method of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) through The Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy or through Klose Training and Consulting. The Foeldi Method is regarded as the "Gold Standard" for the treatment of lymphedema by the International Society of Lymphology (ISL).
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is defined as an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the soft tissues caused by insufficiency, blockage or removal of lymphatic vessels or nodes. It is characterized by one or more swollen extremities: head and neck, arms, or legs. Over time, this leads to chronic inflammation and fibrosis in the effected region. Individuals with lymphedema are also at an increased risk for infection and wounds in involved areas if not treated properly.
Types of Lymphedema
There are two types of lymphedema: Primary and Secondary. Primary lymphedema may be present at birth or adolescence and can involve any part of the body, often for unknown reasons. Secondary lymphedema is caused by damage or injury to the lymphatic system most often through cancer treatments involving lymph node removal or radiation. Secondary lymphedema can also be caused by infection as well as untreated venous edema which is commonly in the lower extremities.
What is the treatment of Lymphedema?
Although lymphedema is not a reversible condition, with effective treatment by a trained occupational or physical therapist, long-term management is possible. Here at the Physical Rehabilitation Center of Middlesex Hospital, we help individuals manage the swelling in their extremities which can then be maintained through a home program. This technique is called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). Treatment is unique to each individual, based on each person's needs and goals.
What does Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) consist of?
- Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) - A gentle, non-invasive manual technique to improve the activity of the lymphatic system and re-route lymph flow around blocked areas.
- Compression Bandaging- The application of short stretch bandages over effected areas to assist in fluid return and breakdown of fibrous scar tissue.
- Therapeutic Exercise- Various exercises that are performed with bandages or support garments on to increase venous and lymphatic return.
- Skin and Nail Care and Infection Prevention
- Instruction in Self-Care- Includes instruction in skin and nail care, infection prevention, lifestyle modification, self or caregiver bandaging, compression garment fitting and use, exercise, self-MLD, and need for follow-up treatment.
Who is appropriate for Treatment?
Any individual who has been diagnosed with lymphedema of all types are candidates for evaluation. Duration and intensity of treatment is dependent upon the severity of Lymphedema and individual goals. A physician's referral is necessary for evaluation and treatment.
Are there any Contraindications to Treatment?
Yes. Any individual diagnosed with active infection, cardiac edema (CHF), kidney insufficiency, or blood clots (DVT's) may not be appropriate for treatment.
- The National Lymphedema Network www.lymphnet.org?
- Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy www.nortonschool.com?
- Klose Training and Consulting www.klosetraining.com