Helping You Live with Lymphedema

Lymphedema Clinic

Lymphedema Clinic

Lymphedema is a chronic disorder characterized by persistent swelling in the arms or legs due to blocked lymph channels. Surgery, trauma, infection, or radiation therapy can often damage the lymph system. This damage leads to an accumulation of lymphatic fluid, which causes swelling, inflammation, and disability.

Lymphedema in the arms is commonly associated with breast cancer following surgical removal or radiation treatment of the lymph nodes. It can occur shortly after injury to the lymph system or many years later. Patients who have undergone treatment for cancer in the pelvis, colon, or lower extremities or who have been through treatment for Hodgkin's disease often suffer from lymphedema in the legs.

There is a treatment

Complete Decongestive Therapy is a noninvasive, safe, and reliable method that can not only maintain a smaller limb, but also decreases the incidence of cellulitis.

It consists of four basic steps:

  • Skin and nail care that may include topical and systemic antimycotic drug treatment so the skin is infection free before treatment is started.
  • Manual lymph drainage
  • Compression therapy
  • Decongestive exercises

A certified manual lymph drainage therapist performs the manual lymph drainage followed by compression bandaging, five days a week for two to four weeks. The goal is to mobilize protein-rich fluid and reduce the size of the limb. After volume reduction of the limb, a compression garment is obtained to preserve and maintain the decreased size. With proper patient compliance, the volume reduction can not only be maintained, but also improved by continuing reduction of fibrosis.

The Lymphedema Clinic of Centra is now offering this treatment for those suffering with lymphedema. As part of the outpatient physical therapy services of Centra Rehabilitation, the clinic is located in Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital. Centra also offers a full array of outpatient physical therapy services at Virginia Baptist Hospital and nine other locations.

To schedule an appointment, call 434.200.4668.

Learn more about lymphedema treatment

Learn more about Centra Rehabilitation