Management of Lymphedema and Venous Insufficiency
Lymphedema is the swelling of a body part, most often a leg or an arm, due to the disruption of fluid flow in the lymph system. It may occur spontaneously without known injury. It can develop following cancer care with or without lymph node removal or following trauma.
Venous insufficiency refers to insufficient blood flow in the legs due to weakened valves in the veins. Those at greatest risk are individuals with diabetes, cardiac conditions, and obesity. This condition may lead to lymphedema.
When lymphedema is present, there is a greater risk of infection and the development of wounds. Early treatment can prevent serious complications. Traditional treatments may include elevation or compression pumps.
Decongestion therapy has been shown to be a very effective treatment to improve the condition. Witham has specially trained, certified staff to provide care. Treatment may include:
- Manual lymph drainage - special massage techniques to open up blocked vessels and increase the amount of lymph fluid leaving the extremity
- Bandaging and compression - Special bandaging techniques prevent the fluid from pooling and being stagnant
- Compression garments - When a maximal reduction in the limb swelling is obtained, specially fit garments such as arm sleeves or hosiery will help to assist in fluid return and decrease the risk of chronic swelling and wounds
- Exercise - Instructions are provided to individuals to use muscles to increase the flow of fluid in the extremity
- Skin care - Monitoring and caring for the skin to reduce bacteria or fungal growth helps to prevent infection
For additional information call (765)-483-7320 and ask to speak to one of our specialists involved in lymphedema management.