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What Is Lymphedema?

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Make an appointment at 413-794-5600.

If you suffer from lymphedema, ask your doctor for a referral for evaluation and treatment at Baystate Rehabilitation Care.

If your lymph nodes have been damaged or removed (usually as a result of a cancer treatment, your arms and legs may swell. The build-up of lymphatic fluid causes swelling called lymphedema. This condition is often debilitating and painful.

Some are born with this condition (primary lymphedema). If your lymph nodes become damaged or are removed, the condition is called secondary lymphedema. Our team of rehabilitation specialists, including physiatrists and physical therapists, can help you manage your condition.

Lymphedema Treatments

Lymphedema is typically a lifelong condition. Our goal is to help you manage your symptoms and relieve your pain so you can return to the activities you enjoy. Depending on the severity of your condition, we may recommend:

  • CDP (complete decongestive physiotherapy)
  • Compression garments or bandages
  • Exercise
  • Hygiene and topical skin products
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Manual lymph (fluid) draining
  • Massage
  • Nutrition counseling

Our doctors may also use or recommend pneumatic compression devices or pumps to help drain fluid and reduce swelling.

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