how is lymphedema treated

How is Lymphedema Treated?

When lymphedema is left untreated, the outcome is often disabling and painful.  However, therapy, education and support are available through the Virtua Cancer Program.

An evaluation by your physician is the first step. Your doctor can confirm that you have this condition and that you don’t have another problem (such as an infection). Your doctor will give you a prescription to begin therapy. Virtua has physical and occupational therapists on staff who are trained and certified in lymphedema management.  This treatment program is covered by most health insurance plans. Check with your insurance company to discuss your specific coverage. 

Rehabilitation for lymphedema can include: 

  • Manual lymphatic drainage (specialized massage to increase lymph flow and decrease swelling)
  • Patient education on self-care, treatment and how to minimize lymphedema
  • A tailored exercise program
  • Compression bandaging
  • Use of compression pumps

Updated June 6, 2016