CPT’s lymphedema program focuses on treatment for patients with primary or secondary lymphedema. Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid caused by malformation or malfunction of the lymphatic system. It often affects an arm or leg, but can occur in the face, neck, abdomen, or genitals.
Following the complete decongestive therapy approach, CPT’s lymphedema program offers total care to the patient with lymphedema. Treatments are rendered in 1 hour sessions, 2-4 times a week for 4-8 weeks. Length of treatment is typically dependent on the severity of the lymphedema.
- Volume reduction / Decrease in limb size
- Management of fibrotic tissue
- Cosmetic, functional, & psychosocial improvement
- Infection prevention & control
- Improved quality of life
Part I: SKIN CARE
An important aspect that involves appropriate cleansing and rehydration of the skin to maintain integrity and enhance elasticity. Skin care may include use of certain lotions (i.e., Eucerin) to lower the skin pH level, prevent bacterial growth, and reduce dry/scaly appearance. Patients will be educated in risk reduction practices to combat increased risk of infections.
Part 2: MANUAL LYMPH DRAINAGE
This technique stimulates the lymphatic system to encourage drainage of healthy lymphatic vessels and nodes, which in turn, assists with drainage of neighboring damaged and congested lymphatics. MLD can also provide a soothing response for those in pain.
Part 3: COMPRESSION
Compression assists in maintaining edema reduction achieved during treatment; it can involve short stretch compression bandages or compression garments. Short stretch compression bandaging has been proven to increase tissue pressure, decrease chance of refilling of fluid, and soften fibrosis. Compression garments may be appropriate once clinically or functionally significant reduction is achieved; they can also be appropriate from start of therapy depending on the severity of the lymphedema.
Compression garments may be “off the shelf” or custom-fit and offer various compression levels for long-term management of chronic edema. Compression is an essential requirement in order to achieve optimal results.
Part 4: REMEDIAL EXERCIES
Our program provides low intensity exercises to prevent over-fatigue while encouraging muscle contraction as a pump for the lymph vessels. Exercises are performed in a therapeutic sequence for maximal lymphatic drainage.
Part 5: HOME MAINTENANCE PROGRAM
The overarching goal of treatment is to maintain long-term therapeutic progress through remedial exercises, compression bandaging/garments, and skin care as needed.
Part 6: SIX MONTH FOLLOW UP
A six month follow up is recommended. During this time, we will screen for residual lymphedema, review home exercises, assess bandages and compression garments, and answer any questions pertaining to your lymphedema treatment. We will remain a resource for your good health.
CPT is proud to offer Lymphedema Management in ALL locations throughout the area – Forest City, Hawley, Dunmore, Carbondale and Honesdale. Treatment can easily be coordinated between any of our five locations. Click Here to find your nearest location.