Therapist wrapping a hand with a bandage

Certified Lymphedema Therapists Ease Your Pain

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid causing swelling (edema). Our specially-certified therapists provide treatment for patients with Lymphedema, including skin care and therapeutic exercises.

For more information about our Lymphedema Program, call 913-791-4325.

About Our Lymphedema Management Program

Our therapists have completed international training in cancer rehabilitation and are Certified Lymphedema Therapists through the Lymphedema Association of North America (LANA). Our 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.

Olathe Health is the first cancer center in the Kansas City metro to have a tissue analysis tool for early diagnosis of lymphedema, or swelling, in cancer patients. This system sends a painless electrical current through the body of a patient to gather unique data immediately following a cancer diagnosis. Research has shown this system can diagnose lymphedema as much as 4-10 months earlier than other methods.

How to Get Started

Ask your doctor whether lymphedema treatment at Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services might be right for you, or call Rehabilitation Services at 913-791-4325 for more information on our lymphedema management program.

About Lymphedema

  • Lymphedema is a build up of fluid normally transported by the lymph system. 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.

  • Primary lymphedema is caused by defects of the lymph nodes or lymph vessels. The structures may be missing or may not work properly. Though the defects are present from birth, lymphedema may not develop until later in life. Conditions associated with primary lymphedema include:

    • Milroy's Disease
    • Meige Disease


    Secondary lymphedema develops when there is injury, infection, or nearby growth that blocks the flow of fluids in the lymph nodes or lymph vessels. It may be caused by medical conditions, medical treatments, or trauma. Medical treatments or conditions that may increase your risk of lymphedema include:

    • Surgery that includes removal of lymph nodes - common cancer-related surgeries
    • Radiation therapy for cancer
    • Cancer
    • Infections - especially infections caused by parasites such as filariasis
    • Burns
    • Obesity - may increase risk of lymphedema after breast cancer surgery
    • Immobility
    • 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
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About Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services

Olathe Health offers a wide range of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech-Language Pathology and specialty therapies for children and adults. Our licensed therapists work with inpatients at Olathe Medial Center and Miami County Medical Center and outpatients at 11 convenient locations in Johnson and Miami counties.

Certified Therapists provide specialty rehabilitation services like Hand Therapy, Pediatric Therapy, LSVT for patients with Parkinson's and more.

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