Lymphedema Care

Lymphedema is a common condition caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes during cancer treatment and involves fluid building up in your body’s soft tissues, particularly your arms and legs. With our treatment program, you’ll receive the top quality attention and care you deserve.

Diagnosing Lymphedema

You may have lymphedema if you experience swelling of your arms and legs, aching or tingling, or changes in your skin’s texture. Once your doctor identifies lymphedema, you can request a referral to our treatment program. Specialized care can be effectively tailored to your unique symptoms.

Understanding Lymphedema

While it’s common for lymphedema symptoms to appear directly after surgery, you may develop the condition slowly over time, even months or years after cancer treatment. Swelling may be mild—you may notice your clothes fitting a bit more snugly than usual—or serious, causing discomfort or pain. Chronic lymphedema can prevent nutrients from reaching your cells, which can cause infections and prevent wound healing.

Before you undergo cancer surgery, ask your doctor to measure your arms or legs (or affected area) to easily monitor possible swelling as you recuperate. If you see signs or symptoms of lymphedema, or notice abnormalities where lymph nodes were treated, contact your doctor for referral to our lymphedema program.

Targeted Care & Treatment for Lymphedema

As with many non-fatal illnesses, lymphedema care begins at home. When you’re at Tri-City Medical Center, you’ll receive specialized care that’s tailored to your unique symptoms. You and your care team will work together to create a program that focuses on your specific goals, such as:

  • Reducing swelling
  • Restoring range of motion
  • Decreasing skin stiffness or hardening
  • Promoting healing of wounds

As part of our program, your treatment could include:

  • Stretching and performing light exercises to help lymph fluid drain
  • Wearing bandages or compression garments to manage swelling
  • Getting massage therapy to move lymph fluid from a swollen area
  • Receiving at-home care instructions and education for caregivers
  • Following a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Participating in a weight loss or weight maintenance plan that includes nutrition and exercise guidance
  • Joining support groups, where you’ll find education and peer support for your condition

With treatment, you’ll get back to enjoying your daily activities with less discomfort and pain.

Learn more about lymphedema and how to manage your symptoms and when to contact your doctor.