St. Jude Medical Center
We offer comprehensive, compassionate treatment and education to individuals with lymphedema and those at risk of developing this condition.
Our registered occupational therapists are certified in Lymphedema Therapy with advanced clinical training in Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy (CDT), the most effective treatment available for lymphedema. This additional training and experience allows our therapists to bring a higher level of therapeutic insight and success to the treatment of lymphedema.
Lymphedema is most often caused by cancer or its treatment, including radiation therapy, mastectomy, or removal of the lymph nodes. Less common causes include chronic circulation problems, trauma, infection, or other medical conditions.
Because lymphedema is typically slow to progress, an individual may have the condition for some time before symptoms are obvious. If you are undergoing cancer treatment, or have chronic circulation problems, an appointment with one of our Certified Lymphedema Therapists can help you learn how to reduce your risk of developing lymphedema, recognize early warning signs, ask questions, and establish baseline measurements for future comparison. For some, this education can help prevent symptoms from ever developing. For others, knowing how to identify early symptoms ensures a less intensive course of treatment and better overall outcomes.
Symptoms of lymphedema may include:
- Gradual onset of swelling in an area of the body that worsens over time
- Difficulty fitting an arm or leg into clothing
- Heavy, full, or aching sensation and/or limited movement in the affected area
- Repeated infections in the affected area
- Changes in the texture of the skin in the affected area
- A “thick” or “dense” feeling under the skin in the affected area that is different from the unaffected side
Lymphedema services are located within our Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, where patients are cared for in private treatment rooms solely dedicated to the comfort and optimal management of those with lymphedema.
Our services for lymphedema treatment include:
- Assessment by a certified lymphedema therapist to evaluate your symptoms and medical needs
- Manual lymph drainage
- Compression bandaging
- Therapeutic exercise to stimulate lymphatic circulation
- Skin care
- Education and support in adapting daily activities and all aspects of self-management
- Referral for appropriate compression garments to maintain the benefits of therapy