Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of protein-rich lymph fluid in the tissues. This accumulation of fluid causes swelling. Lymphedema may occur for many reasons, including:
- Lymph node removal
- Radiation treatment
- Deficiency in lymphatic system
- Injury or trauma
- Unknown cause
The gold standard of treatment for lymphedema is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). CDT includes manual lymphatic drainage massage (MLD), compression bandaging, exercise program, skin and nail care, and education on self-management of lymphedema. Lymphedema is a chronic condition, which requires life-long management. After successful reduction of the swelling, you will also be fit for a compression garment to wear to manage the edema.
CDT is performed by a physical therapist who is also a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. The therapist will perform a thorough evaluation to determine your individual treatment plan. Please consult your physician to determine if CDT can benefit you. Your physician can write a prescription to get you started in treatment at Heritage Valley Rehab.