Lymphedema Treatment Considered Gold Standard

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In observance of World Physical Therapy Day (Sunday, Sept. 8), we’re sharing more about lymphedema and the physical therapy treatment considered to be the gold standard.

One in five women who are treated for breast cancer will develop lymphedema from surgery and/or radiation therapy.

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the tissues just below the skin that develops when the lymphatic system is impaired and becomes overloaded with lymphatic fluid. This swelling commonly occurs in the arm or leg, but it also may occur in other areas of the body such as the breast, chest, trunk, abdomen, head and neck, and genitals.
Lymphedema is treated with Complete Decongestive Therapy. This evidence-based, gold standard treatment has been proven to decrease lymphedema on average by 70%! Complete Decongestive Therapy should be individually prescribed and performed by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist who has received advanced training and certification for the best results.

Complete decongestive therapy consists of manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy (compression bandages, sleeves or other garments), skin care, education and exercises to further reduce swelling. Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a hands-on manual therapy technique that opens the flow of the lymphatic vessels allowing for fluid mobilization and reduction of swelling.

Cincinnati Ms.Medicine and Dr. Stacey Hendricks are thrilled to welcome Ricci Hoover, PT, DPT, CLT, and René Thomas, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA,– both of whom have received certification in lymphedema management and offer Complete Decongestive Therapy to the women and men of Cincinnati.

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