Lymphedema can develop in the arm, torso or chest after surgery that disrupts the lymphatic system and interferes with normal lymphatic flow, such as axillary lymph node biopsy.
The most common signs or symptoms are:
- Persistent swelling
- Sense of fullness or heaviness in the arm or torso
What are the treatment options for lymphedema?
Lymphedema is not difficult to treat, but it does require daily attention to exercise, self-massage techniques and garment use. Treatment has many aspects including:
- Reducing swelling (intensive phase)
- Preventing swelling from increasing again (maintenance phase)
- Patient education regarding skincare, anatomy of the lymphatic system, and risk reduction techniques.
Lymphedema Care at The Polyclinic
Our certified lymphedema therapists at the Polyclinic Physical Therapy and Hand Therapy Department will guide you through all the phases of treatment including intensive treatment, maintenance and preventative monitoring to ensure success with management of your lymphedema.
We will assist you with obtaining appropriate compression garments to help maintain the reduction. We will also discuss skin care and precautions to reduce risk of infection, flares of lymphedema and work to answer any questions or solve any problems as you progress to independent management of your lymphedema.
Please call 206-860-2210 to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.