Lymphedema Services

Lymphedema Services

We offer comprehensive, compassionate treatment and education to individuals with lymphedema and those at risk of developing this condition. Our registered occupational therapists are certified in Lymphedema Therapy with advanced clinical training in Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy (CDT), the most effective treatment available for lymphedema. This additional training and experience allows our therapists to bring a higher level of therapeutic insight and success to the treatment of lymphedema.

Our services include:

  • Assessment by a certified lymphedema therapist to evaluate your symptoms and medical needs
  • Manual lymph drainage
  • Compression bandaging
  • Therapeutic exercise to stimulate lymphatic circulation
  • Skin care
  • Education and support in adapting daily activities and all aspects of self-management
  • Referral for appropriate compression garments to maintain the benefits of therapy

Lymphedema services are located within our Advanced Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, where patients are cared for in private treatment rooms solely dedicated to the comfort and optimal management of those with lymphedema.

Nearly all insurance plans as well as Medicare cover lymphedema services. A physician referral is required. For more information or to make an appointment, call (714) 992-3000 ext. 2985, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is at risk for developing lymphedema?

Lymphedema is most often caused by cancer or its treatment, including radiation therapy, mastectomy, or removal of the lymph nodes. Less common causes include chronic circulation problems, trauma, infection, or other medical conditions.

Many individuals undergoing cancer treatment never develop symptoms, others develop symptoms within weeks of beginning treatment, and still others develop symptoms decades after their cancer care.

Because lymphedema is typically slow to progress, an individual may have the condition for some time before symptoms are obvious. If you are undergoing cancer treatment, or have chronic circulation problems, an appointment with one of our Certified Lymphedema Therapists can help you learn how to reduce your risk of developing lymphedema, recognize early warning signs, ask questions, and establish baseline measurements for future comparison. For some, this education can help prevent symptoms from ever developing. For others, knowing how to identify early symptoms ensures a less intensive course of treatment and better overall outcomes.

If you believe you could benefit from early assessment and education, ask your doctor for a referral. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (714) 992-3000 ext. 2985, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m

What is lymphedema?

The body’s lymphatic system helps fight infection as well as transports lymphatic fluid through the lymph nodes and vessels. When these structures are damaged or removed, the body’s ability to transport lymphatic fluid is impaired. If the body is unable to compensate for the impairment, lymphatic fluid will begin to accumulate, causing swelling. While lymphedema most commonly develops in an arm or a leg, it can occur anywhere in the body including the face, neck, breast, abdomen or torso.

What are the symptoms?

  • Gradual onset of swelling in an area of the body that worsens over time
  • Difficulty fitting an arm or leg into clothing
  • Heavy, full, or aching sensation and/or limited movement in the affected area
  • Repeated infections in the affected area
  • Changes in the texture of the skin in the affected area
  • A “thick” or “dense” feeling under the skin in the affected area that is different from the unaffected side

How is lymphedema treated?

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is considered the gold-standard for the treatment and long-term management of lymphedema. This highly effective, non-invasive form of treatment includes:

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (a specialized hands-on therapy technique that follows lymphatic pathways to stimulate and open obstructed lymph structures)
  • Compression bandaging
  • Therapeutic exercise and nutritional support
  • Skin hygiene and topical products (to prevent infection and improve skin health)
  • Comprehensive education and self-management skills.

Will therapy cure lymphedema?

At this time, there is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be successfully managed. In fact, some patients manage their lymphedema so well they become convinced they no longer have it. Consistent self-management, weight control, and following treatment recommendations are essential to achieving good long-term results.