Lymphedema Management Program
The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at University Hospital offers physical therapy services for the management of lymphedema. The program provides comprehensive care and assistance in the management of this lifelong problem.
Offered at this office location:University Hospital
750 E. Adams St.
Syracuse, NY 13210
Lymphedema is chronic swelling of a body part, generally the arm or leg. Often it occurs following cancer surgery and/or radiation. It may occur right away or many years later. Lymphedema can also be due to congenital abnormalities and may be present at birth, puberty or even mid life. It often begins with short term swelling of the hand, arm, leg or foot. The arm or leg may feel achy, heavy or full, and if left untreated it can become more swollen and firm. You should check your skin for signs of infection or redness. Contact your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms. Early treatment decreases the serious side effects of lymphedema and improves long term management.
What Should You Expect From Your Visit?
A complete evaluation will include measurements of the affected areas, discussion of appropriate treatments and long term management, and compression options available. Evaluations typically last 45-60 minutes and treatments may be between 30-60 minutes.
Who Can Benefit From Lymphedema Management?
The program may be appropriate for:
- Individuals who have had a mastectomy or lumpectomy
- Edema secondary to any surgery
- Venous compromise
- Status post amputation
- Individuals who have had radiation
- Soft tissue swelling
- Individuals who have undergone abdominal surgery for cancer
- Individuals who have frequent infections in an arm or leg (cellulites) and/or open wounds
- Individuals who will be undergoing surgery for cancer. Baseline measurements will be taken and education provided to help minimize risk of developing lymphedema.
What Should You Expect From Your Therapy?
- Manual lymphatic drainage
- Specialized compression bandaging
- Exercise program
- Compression garment recommendations
- Patient education for long term management
- Skin and wound care recommendations
- Follow up consultation
Preparing for Your Visit
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to fill out your paperwork.
- It is helpful to bring a pair of shorts or wear loose pants if you are being seen for leg lymphedema.