Lymphedema

lymphedema

Overview

Lymphedema is swelling caused by a build-up of fluid, usually in the arms in patients who have been treated for breast cancer. Lymphedema can develop if surgery or radiation treatment affects the lymph nodes and vessels. Other symptoms of lymphedema are: heavy sensation, numbness, tingling, and fatigue of the arm, texture changes of the skin.

Treatment

There is no cure for lymphedema. The main goal of treatment is to control swelling, and to relieve other symptoms.

  • Therapeutic massage (manual lymphatic drainage)
  • Therapeutic exercises to increase blood and lymphatic flow
  • Compression bandages
  • Education about skin care and infection prevention