Lymphedema Treatment Center
Lymphedema is chronic swelling that occurs in the body — usually the arms or legs — due to a compromised lymphatic system. It most commonly occurs as a result of treatment for certain cancers, can interfere with wound healing and lead to other complications.
The Lymphedema Treatment Center at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center is a Phase 1 treatment center and a National Lymphedema Network-sponsored facility. Our treatment team offers comprehensive and compassionate treatment and guidance to patients and those at risk of developing lymphedema.
Our therapists are certified by the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) in the assessment and treatment of lymphedema and have extensive expertise in assessment, manual lymphatic drainage, oncology rehabilitation and compression therapy. These specialists will provide an evaluation and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Types of Lymphedema
There are two types of lymphedema:
- Primary lymphedema can be caused by malformation of the lymph vessels. It may be present at birth or could develop later in life.
- Secondary lymphedema is a result of damage to the lymphatic system. Causes may include traumatic injury, infection, chronic venous insufficiency and wounds. Surgical procedures such as mastectomy, lumpectomy, coronary bypass, prostatectomy, total joint replacement, radiation therapy and removal of lymph nodes also can cause lymphedema.
Who Should Seek Treatment?
If your cancer operation included lymph node removal, or if you've had any swelling of the arm, hand, chest, leg, face or any other part of the body, you are a candidate for evaluation and should seek treatment for lymphedema.
If you have swelling from diabetes, joint replacements, joint fractures, non-healing wounds or swelling that just develops, you are also a candidate for treatment.
With early intervention and proper treatment, lymphedema can be controlled, allowing you to lead a full, functional life. It's frequently a persistent condition however, and it's essential to manage it properly using techniques to reduce swelling and manage other side effects.
You're welcome to contact the Lymphedema Treatment Center for information and assistance. However, because lymphedema therapy is a medical treatment, a referral from your physician is required to initiate treatment. If you believe the center can help you, please contact your physician for a referral.
If you're a new patient or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call 480-323-1100.