Our staff of medical professionals provides one of the most comprehensive lymphedema management programs in the country. We are a full service dedicated lymphedema outpatient clinic with on-site physicians and therapists that work together to design a personal plan of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) for every patient. CDT is recognized as the gold standard in lymphedema treatment. LymphedemaMD of America also provides compression supplies, including vasopneumatic pumps, for our patients.

A condition in which excess protein rich fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling. Over a day’s time we all normally swell (i.e. our feet are larger by the end of the day), but usually by simply getting off our feet the swelling disappears. In lymphedema the protein rich fluid makes a big difference because as the protein concentration increases, so does the swelling. This is because proteins attract water similar to a magnet's pull on metal. This type of swelling will not go away by simply elevating the limb. Diuretics are also ineffective because although they drain the water, they leave behind the proteins and fat causing hard fibrotic tissues which can be a source of infection. Over a period of time, if left untreated, the limb may become severely disfigured.

The primary symptom of lymphedema is the gradual onset of swelling (usually an arm or leg) which progressively worsens over a period of days and weeks. There may be some decrease (i.e. overnight) but gradually the swelling becomes more pronounced, the limb feels heavy and swelling is visible. In the early stages pain usually persists. Untreated, decreased movement of the limb and episodes of cellulitis (infection), thickening of the skin, hardening of the limb, leakage of lymph fluid and massive swelling may occur. In rare cases, malignancy may develop.

CDT is the most effective treatment for lymphedema today and is recognized as the gold standard. Treatments are comfortable to the patient and not painful. CDT includes Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) treatments with compression bandaging or garments. This is to maintain edema reduction between treatments. Pneumatic compression, exercise, skin care, diet, nutritional counseling and patient education are an integral part of the program.

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a specialized slow rhythmic massage technique. It opens alternate lymph vessels preparing them to accept additional lymph fluid from the affected limb during treatment. Stroking techniques cause a siphoning effect directing fluid back toward the thoracic duct, for natural drainage. MLD is not traditional massage therapy or retrograde massage, both of which are contraindicated for patients with lymphedema. Although very few therapists in the U.S. are trained in MLD therapy, all of our therapists are specially trained and certified in this technique.

The initial visit is an evaluation meeting with the physician and takes approximately one hour. At this appointment expect a thorough family history review, an evaluation, measurements to be taken of the swollen limb, and the development of a personalized treatment plan specific to your individual needs. Thereafter, each session will last approximately 60 minutes. The number of visits will depend on individual patient needs.

Mild lymphedema can be reversed because there is no permanent damage yet to the soft tissue. If left untreated, the likelihood of lymphedema becoming chronic in nature is increased.