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Lymphedema Management Therapy

The Lowell General Hospital Rehabilitation Services, through collaborative efforts with the Cancer Center and the financial support of TeamWalk for CancerCare, offers Lymphedema Management Therapy. Lowell General Hospital is proud to be the only local provider for this type of therapy. Patients should discuss with their physician the benefits and appropriateness of this therapy for them. The consultation and therapy must be ordered by the primary care physician or oncologist.

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the tissue caused by an impairment or disruption of the normal lymphatic system. It presents as swelling of an arm, leg, or other body part and results in decreased mobility, high risk for infection and progressive hardening of the skin (fibrosis). Lymphedema is often seen in cancer patients who have undergone radiation or surgery involving the lymph nodes.

How is Lymphedema treated?

There is no cure for Lymphedema; however it can be effectively managed through a treatment called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). This treatment protocol is considered the "gold standard" of care of patients with Lymphedema and is a combination of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, meticulous skin care, exercises, and instructions in self-care. MLD/CDT is provided by a licensed Physical or Occupational Therapist.




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