Specialized Care For Greater Quality Of Life.
Sitrin offers a specialized treatment program for lymphedema, an abnormal swelling of areas of the body (typically involving the extremities) due to an accumulation of lymphatic fluid. We take a comprehensive approach, focusing on the vital goals of understanding, managing, and controlling the condition through innovative therapy, education, and counseling.
A two phase approach.
Following a physician's referral, you and your caregivers will work with qualified Sitrin occupational therapists who are trained in the treatment of this condition. Clinical treatment generally takes place over 21 to 28 days, and occurs in two phases:
Phase I: Decongestive Phase – an intensive treatment to reduce the size of the extremity by a combination of manual lymphatic therapy and compression bandaging. This utilizes low-stretch bandages designed especially for lymphedema treatment, which provide low pressure for comfort and rest, and high working pressure during movement.
Phase II: Conservation & Optimization Phase – low-intensity, long-term treatment to maintain the reduction achieved in phase I. During this phase, the patient is taught about:
- Skin care
- Special self-massage
- The proper use of compression bandages
- Exercises that improve the flow of lymphatic fluid and maintain joint function
Once sufficient limb reduction is achieved, the patient is fitted with a specially-designed compression garment, which helps to maintain the reduction during the day, and is convenient and more comfortable, while light bandaging continues at night.
Most of those who participate in Sitrin's lymphedema treatment program experience a decrease in swelling, improved mobility, and greater range of motion. That means a more active, enjoyable life.
Skilled, caring staff.
Sitrin therapists work as a team to address your physical and emotional needs. We provide you with techniques that will help you continue progress towards your treatment goals long after you return home.
Sitrin's Medical Rehabilitation Center and other campus facilities are easily accessible, with parking available close to the buildings.
What Is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling of a body part (typically in the extremities, head and neck, intestinal and genital) due to an accumulation of protein-rich lymph fluid. Lymphedema can be classified as:
- Primary when it occurs as a result of a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system;
- Secondary when the lymphatic system has been damaged due to trauma, radiation, surgery or infection.
The risk of developing lymphedema after cancer surgery varies with the degree of lymphatic damage and the ability of the remaining functional lymph pathways to compensate. Lymphedema tends to be progressive, and sometimes it does not appear until years after cancer treatment. It is often triggered by illness, injury or infection of the affected limb.
In either primary or secondary lymphedema, the upper and/or lower extremities may undergo massive swelling – which, if not treated with manual lymph drainage/complete decongestive physiotherapy – can result in total loss of function. Unless treated, the lymphedema patient may lose much of his/her ability to participate in the activities of daily living.
Mild edema or swelling can become worse over time. Fibrosis (hardening) of protein accumulations in the stagnating fluid begins to occur if lymphedema is not treated promptly. Edematous (swollen) limbs can become quite large, and are disabling in themselves due to pain, loss of function, skin breakdown and increased susceptibility to infection. This infection, called cellulitis, is dangerous and costly to treat.
Call us today at (315) 797-8000