Lymphedema Therapy

Lymphedema Therapy
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Lymphedema Therapy Treatment Services

The Outpatient Lymphedema Therapy Program at Orange Regional Medical Center helps people who are experiencing abnormal swelling of a body part caused by an excessive buildup of lymph fluid. Some ares of the body that may be affected by Lymphedema, include, but not limited to, swelling of the neck, arm, leg, breast, or abdomen.

Symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • Swelling of extremities
  • Limited movement and heaviness
  • Repeated infections
  • Hardening or thickening of skin
  • Discomfort

Lymphodema is a health condition can occur after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Other causes include infection, obesity, venous insufficiency, trauma, as well as recovery from joint replacement and other surgeries.

After Diagnosis of Lymphedema

Once you are diagnosed with lymphedema, we will need a written prescription from your doctor, and, depending on your insurance, pre-authorization to evaluate and treat your symptoms. Our staff will work with you, your family, and your physician to develop a comprehensive and customized plan of care. Registration is required for your initial evaluation. Please call 845-333-7300 to schedule your appointment.

Comprehensive CDT Treatment for Lymphedema

Patients receiving treatment for their lymphedema swelling in the arms and legs.
Our Norton-trained, certified lymphedema specialist uses a non-invasive program known as Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) to treat lymphedema. Every patient’s symptoms and response to treatment are different, so the specific course of treatment varies by individual. The average therapy session lasts approximately 60 minutes and generally, you should expect to be treated five times a week for at least two weeks.

The following techniques may be incorporated into your individualized therapy plan; however, your treatment plan will be highly customized to you based on your overall health, lymphedema symptoms, and the affect area of your condition. Our specialists will provide you with additional education and thoroughly explain your treatment plan with you.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

MLD is a gentle, hands-on treatment of both the affected body part and adjacent selected areas. MLD can move lymph fluid from the swollen region into parts of the lymphatic system that are still functioning.

Therapeutic Exercise

Exercise programs are designed to strengthen muscles and improve circulation and function of the lymph system.

Compression Garment Fitting

Once the affected body part is decongested, you will be referred to a supplier to be fitted for a medical compression garment, such as an arm sleeve or thigh high. These garments, worn daily, help maintain the positive results achieved through lymphedema treatment.

Compression Bandaging

After MLD, the treated extremity is wrapped with layers of compression bandages. Bandages help prevent the reaccumulation of lymphatic fluid.

Skin and Nail Care

People with lymphedema are at high risk for infection, especially cellulitis. Signs of cellulitis include redness, swelling, pain, and fever. 

Personalized Education in Self-Care

Our lymphedema specialist will teach you how to maintain your treatment progress through at-home techniques, including self-bandaging, self-massage, exercise, and skin and nail care.

To decrease the risk of developing and flare ups of lymphedema symptoms, the following precautions must be taken:

  • Avoid extreme hot and cold climates
  • Avoid hot baths, showers, sauna, and hot tubs
  • Avoid insect bites
  • Avoid manicures and pedicures
  • Avoid skin punctures, needle punctures, cuts and acupuncture to the swollen limb
  • Avoid pet scratches
  • No tattoos on affected extremity
  • Avoid high impact sports
  • Avoid blood pressure cuffs on the affected limb
  • Avoid tight clothes, rings, or watches on the affected limb
  • Avoid high fat or high salt diet
  • Avoid deep tissue massage or Swedish massage

Should you have any questions about your stay at Orange Regional Medical Center or about planning to visit a family or friend who is a patient, do not hesitate to contact us at 845-333-1000.