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Lymphedema Therapy Available | South Central Rehabilitation Services

Posted on August 17, 2023

Lymphedema therapist helps reduce swelling in patients

Our team of Certified Lymphedema Therapists, Danette Chancellor, PT, CLT-ALM, LANA, and Spring Walters, PT-C, CLT, provide treatment for patients living with lymphedema.

What is lymphedema?

  • Lymphedema is abnormal swelling in tissues caused by a breakdown in the lymphatic system, due to a malfunctioning of the system or removal/damage of lymph nodes or vessels.
  • Lymphedema is a chronic, progressive disease that will worsen over time if left untreated, requiring lifelong treatment. It cannot be cured; however, it can typically be controlled with proper management and compliance with lifestyle changes.

Lymphedema & Breast Cancer

Of the estimated 2-3 million cases of secondary lymphedema in the United States, the majority of these cases are caused by complications associated with breast cancer.

1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer during the course of their lives, and of those who seek cancer treatment (lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiation, etc), 42% will develop some degree of lymphedema at 1-year post-operation and 50-75% will develop lymphedema by 5 years post-operation.

Treatment of Lymphedema at South Central Rehabilitation Services

Currently, the most effective and least invasive treatment is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which can be performed by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. The length of treatment is dependent upon the severity and duration of the lymphedema. Ideally, treatment should begin as soon as possible when lymphedema is diagnosed and early screening is recommended for individuals who have had a known lymphatic system issue.

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) consists of: 

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)—A gentle manual stimulation of intact lymphatic vessels to assist in removing fluid.
  • Bandaging & compression—Application of low stretch bandages and a compression garment
  • Skin hygiene—Education in skin and nail care
  • Therapeutic Exercise—Repetitive movement of joints to allow muscles to assist in pumping excess fluid away from the affected area and back toward the heart.
  • Self-Care Education—A daily home program will be recommended by your therapist to maintain progress made during therapy treatment.

How to Start Treatment

To get started, we will need a referral for treatment by your current physician. For assistance, please contact your medical provider or South Central Rehabilitation Services at 601-399-0539. We will be happy to guide you through the process.

Need more information?

Contact us at 601-399-0534 and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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