WHAT IS LYMPHEDEMA ?
Lymphedema is the swelling of soft tissues as a result of the accumulation of protein rich fluid in the extra cellular spaces. It occurs most frequently in the arm and leg but can also be seen in the head, neck, chest, abdomen and genitalia. Lymphedema can be greatly reduced and managed through Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT). This includes compression bandaging, skin care, and patient-specific physical therapy exercises. Most patients will see significant results within the first two weeks of therapy.
SYMPTOMS OF LYMPHEDEMA
If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, you might have lymphedema. Remember, early detection is key to preventing and minimizing the effects of lymphedema.
- Fullness or hardness of breast post lumpectomy
- Rubbing of the upper arm on the chest that did not exist prior to surgery
- Bra begins to feel too tight
- Fullness, pressure, heaviness in the arm
- Rings or jewelry feel too tight
- Feeling of heat in the arm or affected side.
- Swelling in the foot or ankle
- Shoes become tight
- Tight skin or swelling in the base of the toes
- Numbness and tingling in the feet/toes
- Hardness, fullness, or heaviness in the leg
- Feeling of heat in the leg or affected side