Lymphedema Treatment

The lymphatic system is important for immune function and fluid balance in the body. Lymphedema is swelling due to impaired lymphatic drainage. Congestion may occur due to surgery, cancer, injury or venous insufficiency. It is best to seek lymphedema evaluation and treatment early to support circulation and self-maintenance. Susannah is a certified lymphedema therapist. She trains therapists in early detection, is skilled in treating advanced forms of lypmphedema and works with her clients to determine an effective maintenance plan they can be compliant with.

 
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Evaluation

Susannah will perform a comprehensive lymphedema evaluation and initiate a treatment plan. Evaluation includes the completion of outcome measures, a thorough subjective evaluation, skin assessment, measurement of the affected body part, and calculation of the percentage of swelling compared to the non-affected side. The intensity & frequency of recommended visits will depend upon the stage and/or characteristics of your swelling. A person with stage 1 lymphedema may experience signs of swelling or symptoms like heaviness, fullness & discomfort. Stage 1 lymphedema may resolve on its own, however, initiating treatment including education regarding self-assessment and prevention is advisable. Advanced stages of lymphedema do not 'go away,' but swelling can be reduced and managed with treatment. Susannah empowers patients by helping them understanding their condition and setting up a self-maintenance plan.  You will understand your initial treatment plan & discharge goals Day 1. 

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Treatment

Manual lymphatic drainage (a type of gentle massage), skin care, compression bandaging, taping, exercise, education and garment fitting are common lymphedema treatment options. The goal of treatment is to reduce swelling, improve symptoms management and establish the most comfortable, effective home maintenance program. Patients that must undergo intensive treatment 3 times per week are eligible for 1 hour appointments at $80/ hour. 

 
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Home Maintenance 

Lymphedema management is a lifelong consideration for patients. Susannah understands that this can be anxiety provoking for some people. Patients will have to budget the costs of garments each year and will benefit from a knoweldgable practitioner to monitor their symptoms. Susannah goes above and beyond advocating for her lypmhedema patients and reducing costs by:

  • providing effective, complete treatment sessions (no cutting corners here!)
  • offering reduced rates ($15 off per visit for patients who schedule and pay in advance)
  • fitting you personally for your garments when possible to reduce 3rd party mark-ups
  • understanding your garment options and reviewing your preferences with you to increase ease of maintenance compliance
  • researching the most cost-effective vendor options for ordering your garments.

Please contact Susannah for a complimentary fifteen-minute phone consultation: 770-356-3132. 

 
Photo credit:
DocHealer [CC BY-SA4.0(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Enloe Medical Center - Complete Decongestive Therapy