Lymphedema, a persistent accumulation of fluid in the arm or leg, afflicts many people, especially those who have been treated for cancer in the breast or groin areas. Left untreated, this often incapacitating condition poses a continuous risk of developing infections or other complications.
Aggressive treatment using physical therapy and carefully fitted compression garments are effective in improving the condition. As the swelling recedes, function of affected extremities significantly improves, helping to decrease the possibility of infection and greatly enhance the quality of life.
Patients are usually referred for treatment by their physician. Personalized treatment, of a few days to two weeks, is designed based on the severity of their lymphedema.
- Gently massaging connective tissue to stimulate the lymphatic system and encourage reabsorption of fluids
- Bandaging of affected limbs to help prevent swelling
- Education about proper skin care and diet