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Lymphedema

Lymphedema is caused by a block of the lymphatic system, resulting in swelling of the arms or legs. Specialized providers can help control the swelling and manage the condition.

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Lymphedema care in Kissimmee, St. Cloud and Orlando

If you are suffering from lymphedema, our compassionate and dedicated team is ready to provide you the care you need.

Lymphedema causes an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the body, leading you to experience swelling in the arms or legs. It results from damaged or missing lymph nodes and commonly affects those who have been treated for cancer. If you experience lymphedema, HCA Florida Osceola Hospital provides comprehensive care through the Kissimmee Physical Therapy Center. Together, we will help you learn about lymphedema, reduce your risk of developing it and get the help that you need.

Lymphedema symptoms we treat

The most common symptoms associated with lymphedema include arms, hands, legs, feet and toes with:

  • Decreased flexibility
  • Feelings of heaviness
  • Persistent and sometimes painful swelling
  • Repeated episodes of infection, such as cellulitis (a common bacterial infection that causes redness and swelling)

Our lymphedema services

Our team will provide you with compassionate care to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Lymphedema treatment

There is no cure for lymphedema, but it is critical to get it treated. If left untreated, lymphedema can result in hardening of underlying soft tissue (fibrosis) and overall bulkiness in the arms or legs.

Our treatment provides combined decongestive therapy (CDT) to help manage lymphedema. CDT includes remedial exercises to improve lymph flow and consists of five therapy sessions a week, using topical skin care, manual lymphatic drainage and specialized bandaging.

If you'd like to learn more about our lymphedema treatment services, please call our outpatient rehabilitation center (407) 847-7678.

Hygiene and topical skin care

Hygiene and topical skin care are essential to:

  • Balancing the skin's pH level
  • Eliminating bacterial and fungal growth
  • Teaching meticulous skin and nail care
Manual lymphatic drainage

Our specialists perform manual lymphatic drainage, which includes:

  • Applying light, rhythmic pressure in circular motions to stimulate movement of lymph fluid along the vessel pathway
  • Specific manual movements along lymphatic pathways that empty and release obstructed lymph vessels
Bandaging/compression

We also offer specialized bandaging, such as:

  • Bandages that are minimally elastic and prevent lymph fluid from reentering the affected arm or leg
  • Bandages that are worn overnight until the next session
  • Bandaging after each manual lymphatic drainage session
  • Custom-fitting for an elastic support garment, after treatment, when the arm or leg is close to normal

Lymphedema prevention

Several everyday occurrences can lead to lymphedema, from extreme temperatures and common infections to minor blunt traumas, such as those caused by blood pressure cuffs or tight clothing.

How to reduce your risk of lymphedema

To decrease your risk of developing lymphedema, follow your doctor's instructions and consider the following lifestyle changes:

  • Avoid alcohol consumption or nicotine use
  • Exercise, including walking or swimming
  • Maintain good nutrition
  • Practice good skin and nail care
  • Use hypoallergenic soaps and fragrances

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