Lymphedema Treatment & Management

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES FOR THE PREVENTION AND

TREATMENT OF LYMPHEDEMA

1. Complete Decongestion Therapy: Manual Lymph Drainage, Compression Bandaging, Lymphedema exercise.
2. Patient education and training in self management for maintaining and controlling volume in response to ongoing swelling and triggers.
3. Recommendations and consultation with garment vendors for appropriate strength of compression fit and style of day and night compression garments.
4. Recommendation and training in use of compression pump as needed.
5. Therapy to target related issues post op, post radiation/chemo or with chronic medical conditions leading to swelling. Therapy will address pain, range of motion, strength, scar tissue and “banding” post op, energy level, activities of daily living, mental clarity/brain fog and exercises to enhance immunity and wellness for maximal recovery.

Each person having swelling problems has a different history and complex of variables which will determine which aspects of the program are planned and to what degree they are implemented. All decisions are based on a complete evaluation.

REFERRAL RECOMMENDATION
1. PRIMARY & SECONDARY LYMPHEDEMA:

  • Post mastectomy lymphedema
  • Post Groin dissection lymphedema
  • Post neck/throat cancer dissection lymphedema
  • Congenital Lymphedema (Milroy’s Disease)
  • Distal or Proximal Obliteration
  • Early referral before swelling allows the patient to train in prevention and be fitted for a sleeves/garment to be used with high risk situations such as flying, excessive heat and exercise. (See National Lymphedema Network’s guidelines). Services are scaled to the stage of risk and swelling. The greater the swelling, the more sessions it generally takes to reduce the swelling and keep it down.

2. VENOUS AND LYMPHATIC INSUFFICIENCY:

  • Crural ulcer
  • Prevention of thrombosis
  • Lower extremity swelling related to peripheral vascular disease, aging, and other medical conditions can often be treated with the use of a compression pump 45 min. 1-2x day and compression knee highs. The legs are more comfortable, patients can fit in their regular shoes, they stay more active and the tissues stay healthier preventing cellulites and thrombosis.

3. Orthopedic Surgical patients can benefit from Manual Lymph Drainage and light compression which will speed up the healing of the incision and reduce pain and swelling allowing for greater range of motion and function.

4. Treatment of interstitial fluid from IV infiltrates which are painful and limit functional use of hand or arm if severe.

5. Treatment of hematoma/massive blood loss into the tissues from secondary problems related stent placement or angiogram testing.