A- A A+

Lymphedema Therapy

  • Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that occurs when any part of the lymphatic system is damaged, causing swelling in another part of the body. There are several causes of lymphedema:

    • Surgery used to treat cancer such as a mastectomy or lymph node removal
    • Radiation therapy
    • Other disease processes such as peripheral vascular disease

    Symptoms can include feelings of fullness, heaviness, aches or discomfort, obvious swelling in a part of the body, skin changes or tightness with swelling. People usually notice this when clothing or jewelry doesn’t seem to fit the same or is too tight over a particular area. These symptoms may affect the ability to perform basic daily living skills, work responsibilities or mobility.

    Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital delivers the gold standard of care in managing lymphedema. Our therapists have received specialized training and are highly skilled in decongestive therapy, our program for managing all stages of lymphedema in any part of the body.

    Complete decongestive therapy includes:

    • Manual lymph drainage — a highly specialized technique to redirect the flow of the lymph (fluid) to unaffected areas of the lymphatic system
    • Decongestive exercises
    • Skin care – to prevent infection
    • Multi-layer compression bandaging — use of short stretch bandages to effectively manage later stage lymphedema
    • Compression garment fitting and selection
    • Education on prevention and risk reduction

    For more information on lymphedema services, please contact the Outpatient Center at 717-833-5300.