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Lymphedema is characterized as a chronic swelling affecting one or more areas of the body caused by an insufficiency, blockage or removal of lymph vessels or nodes.
If left untreated, lymphedema will produce an accumulation of protein rich fluid creating a host environment for bacteria growth and infection, as well as skin breakdown, increased pain, a heavy limb, decreased motion and difficulty performing daily tasks.
There are two types of lymphedema: primary, which may be congenital or present at anytime for unknown reasons, and secondary, which is frequently caused by lymph node removal, radiation therapy or scarring from an infection.
Our mission is to provide optimum patient care by designing an individualized treatment protocol for those affected by primary and secondary lymphedema.
Lymphedema is a persistent condition that requires techniques for care of limb and self-management of swelling. With early detection and proper treatment, lymphedema can be controlled, allowing the individual to lead a full and normal life.
Candidates for evaluation are children or adults who have been diagnosed with lymphedema of the arm, hand or leg. A physician's referral is necessary for evaluation and treatment.
Manual lymphatic treatment (MLT) and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) are specialized non-invasive techniques that stimulate the lymphatic vessels to absorb excess lymph fluid and develop use of substitutional pathways.
Compression bandaging of the limb prevents refill between MLT/MLD sessions and replaces skin and tissue pressure to encourage skin remodeling.
Individual exercise programs, when used with compression bandaging, enhance lymphatic draining and restore strength, flexibility and endurance. Sequential pumping with state-of-the-art pneumatic pumps maximizes the reduction of swelling and softens hard tissue.
Education in skin care, precautions and modified self-massage therapy prevents the recurrence of lymphedema and helps control swelling.
The NMMC Outpatient Rehabilitation Center staff includes a therapist certified in the Vodder Method of lymphedema management by the Dr. Vodder School-North America.
A physician or nurse practitioner's referral is necessary for evaluation and treatment.
For additional information about this program or related rehabilitation services, call (662) 377-7215 or 1-800-THE-DESK (1-800-843-3375).