Specially trained LANA (Lymphedema Association of North America) certified therapists provide treatment for patients with both primary and secondary lymphedema along with general edema. The rehabilitation program emphasizes skin care and therapeutic exercise as well as manual lymph drainage techniques and the use of compression bandaging and garments to mange chronic and progressive lymphedema.
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid causing swelling (edema). While lymphedema can occur in many areas of the body, it is most often seen in the arms or legs. Lymph is a transparent fluid that collects throughout the body and contains waste materials. Lymph vessels collect the lymph fluid and carry it to the lymph nodes to be filtered, before it is returned to the blood. The lymph vessels are also responsible for absorbing excess fluid from the tissues in times of stress, inflammation and trauma. If the lymph vessels or lymph nodes are not working efficiently or are damaged, then fluid accumulates in the tissues of the affected body parts. If left untreated, symptoms are irreversible and progressive. Untreated lymphedema may lead to infection and further complications.
Lymphedema symptoms and common complaints:
- The affected body part “looks” bigger
- Swelling that “comes and goes”
- Elevation of the body part reduces the swelling
- Feeling of heaviness, skin tightness or fullness of the body part
- Tight fitting clothing, shoes and/or jewelry
Certified Lymphedema Therapists
Amy Konrade, OT,CLT-LANA
Janis Miller, OT, CLT-LANA
Bruce Charlton, PT, CLT-LANA
Inpatient and home health lymphedema services are also available.