Lymphedema

We have a full comprehensive system for the treatment and management of lymphedema and swelling. We will help you through this process to meet your goals using the new innovative treatments available at our clinic.

Introducing Physiotouch – our newest addition to the team!

Lymphedema is the accumulation of protein rich fluid (swelling) that occurs when the amount of fluid your body needs to get rid of exceeds the amount of fluid your lymph system can remove. During cancer treatment, lymph nodes may be removed surgically to check for cancer cells to see if cells are spreading (metastasis). Lymph nodes can also be damaged by radiation therapy targeted at destroying cancer cells. Other surgery or trauma that causes damage to lymph nodes or major lymph vessels can also lead to lymphedema. Lymph vessels can heal and re-grow, but lymph nodes cannot. Whether you develop lymphedema after lymph nodes have been damaged depends on how well your body can compensate. You have the same amount of fluid that needs to be removed and less filters to do the work. Lymphedema can occur soon after the damage occurs, or many years later. Primary lymphedema occurs because of an inadequacy of the lymph system from birth or later in life without a specific cause. Knowing how your lymph system works and knowing what puts stress on your lymph system can help you prevent or manage lymphedema.

Recognizing Lymphedema:

  • Swelling in the area*- can be sudden or gradual
  • Sensation changes- the area may feel tight, full, heavy, tired, tingly, painful
  • Clothing or jewelry becomes tighter in the area
  • Decreased flexibility in joints in the area
  • Skin rash or infection in the area- red, warm, itchy, painful

If you think you may be having the onset of lymphedema, contact your doctor. The sooner you start to treat lymphedema, the easier it is and the better outcome you will have. Untreated lymphedema can get progressively worse and more difficult to treat. Swelling can be caused by things other than lymphedema but should still be checked out by your doctor ASAP.

*The Area: Lymph nodes damaged in the right arm can cause right arm swelling. Lymph nodes damaged in the left groin can cause left leg swelling. Lymph nodes damaged in the abdomen can cause right and/or left leg swelling. Lymph nodes damaged in the head or neck can cause head and/or neck swelling.