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Lymphedema Management

Lymphedema Management at TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation

Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive condition characterized by swelling of the extremities. This is a serious condition and if not treated properly may cause difficulty with movement, infection and limb disfigurement. Lymphedema Management at TIRR Memorial Hermann Outpatient Rehabilitation offers comprehensive treatment for both primary and secondary forms of lymphedema to reduce swelling, improve comfort and increase overall mobility.

Staff

Our Lymphedema Management team consists of occupational therapists who are certified lymphedema specialists. Our complete rehabilitation team consists of expert occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, social workers and neuropsychologists, in case there are other impairments that warrant treatment besides lymphedema.

Lymphedema Treatment

Phase I: Intense Treatment Phase

An evaluation consists of a one-hour session with subsequent treatment sessions of one to 1.5 hours in duration, four to five days per week for an average of four to six weeks or until maximum volume reduction is achieved.

Complete Decongestive Therapy includes:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Skin care
  • Compression bandaging
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Self-care training
  • Patient and family education for gaining independence in managing lymphedema

Phase II: Self-Maintenance Phase

Once maximum volume reduction is achieved, the patient will be measured for a compression garment which will be worn during the day. Bandages or alternative nightwear compression should be used at night. Patients will need to continue to perform exercises, skin and nail care and self-manual lymphatic drainage, and to attend follow-up visits with the certified lymphedema therapist as needed.