Lymphedema

Lymphedema: Occurs as a result of a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment.

2014 Outcomes

Lymphedema Management

Saint Alphonsus Rehabilitation Services (STARS) provides specialized services in the management of lymphedema and edema. Our experienced therapists can improve the function of your lymphatic and circulatory systems to help reduce your symptoms. Symptoms of these conditions include swelling in the arms or legs, movement limitations, aching, discomfort, infections, and hardening or thickening of the skin.

Treatment may include:

  • Lymph drainage massage
  • Compression therapy
  • Self-management techniques
  • Home exercise

What are the signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema?

If you suspect any of the symptoms of lymphedema listed below, call your health care provider right away. Prompt treatment can help get the condition under control.

Swelling in the arms, hands, fingers, shoulders, chest, or legs. The swelling may occur the first time after a traumatic event (such as bruises, cuts, sunburn, and sports injuries), after an infection in the part of the body that was treated for cancer, or after an airplane trip lasting more than three hours.

  • A “full” or heavy sensation in the arms or legs.
  • Skin tightness.
  • Decreased flexibility in the hand,wrist, or ankle.
  • Difficulty fitting into clothing in one specific area.
  • Tight-fitting bracelet, watch, or ring that wasn’t tight before.

What is the outlook for Lymphedema?

Lymphedema cannot be cured. However, with proper care and treatment, the affected limb can be restored to a normal size and shape. In addition, the disease can be treated and controlled so that it does not progress further.

If left untreated, this can lead to increased swelling and a hardening of the tissue, resulting in decreased function and mobility in the affected limb. It can also lead to chronic infections and other illnesses.

It is important to receive treatment promptly if you recognize symptoms of lyphedema.

Offered At:

Boise (Liberty Location), Meridian Health Plaza, and Nampa Garrity