Lymphedema is swelling that is caused by a collection of too much lymph fluid and is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes through cancer treatment, trauma, surgery or vascular insufficiencies. It results from a blockage in your lymphatic system and prevents fluid from draining. That buildup of fluid leads to swelling that generally occurs in arms and legs.
Signs and symptoms of Lymphedema include:
- Increase in size, feeling of heat and bursting sensation in limb
- Aching limb
- Swelling not due to overeating or medication
- Pitting of skin when pressed
- Clothing and jewelry becoming tight
- Swelling or feeling of heat near surgery site
- Enlarged and sometimes warm breast after lumpectomy
- Swelling of opposite side (example: the other breast or chest wall begins to increase in size following a mastectomy)
- Red patches possibly indicating infection
- Lack of feeling in limb
- Prickly feeling in fingers or toes (pins and needles)
- Compression garments become too tight
Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital and Austintown Rehabilitation Services, A Service of Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital, offer the Lymphedema Treatment Program with one of the area’s only Lymphedema Specialists, Keri Overly-Wear, Occupational Therapist. The program specializes in the treatment of patients who have developed Lymphedema or Edema in the upper and/or lower extremities following breast cancer, surgery, trauma, infection, congenital abnormalities or vascular insufficiencies. Our team of Occupational Therapists perform an evaluation and then recommend and provide treatment based on findings.
A Lymphedema treatment plan usually includes the use of compression pumps, manual lymph drainage through massage techniques, wrapping the limb or area affected by Lymphedema and the use of compression garments. Our therapists can size you for these special garments.
The Lymphedema Treatment Program is available at two convenient locations:
Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital
8747 Squires Lane NE in Howland
Austintown Rehabilitation Services, A Service of Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital
1450 S. Canfield Niles Road in Austintown