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Lymphedema treatment available at CCH

Lymphedema treatment available at CCH

Laura York, an Occupational Therapist who works for Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services is specially trained in the treatment of lymphedema.

Lymphedema is an abnormal buildup of fluid caused by damage to the lymphatic system. Usually, the swelling is in an arm or leg, but it can be anywhere.

There are two types of lymphedema including primary and secondary. Primary lymphedema is hereditary and can become present at birth, puberty, or later in adulthood. Secondary lymphedema is caused by surgery, radiation, trauma, filariasis (parasitic disease,) cancer, infection, and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). The lymphatic system consists of tissue, vessels and organs that help return lymph fluid back to the blood stream.

Symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • Slow onset and usually starts in the arm or leg
  • Infection including cellulitis is common
  • Feeling of heaviness in their limb(s)
  • Persistent swelling
  • Significantly increased limb size

​There is no cure for lymphedema. However, a certified lymphedema specialist (CLT) like Laura can provide treatment using complete decongestive therapy (CDT). CDT includes manual lymph drainage, compression, skincare, and exercises. There is an intensive phase to reduce the swelling and a maintenance phase to help manage lymphedema.

What is treatment for lymphedema?

At your first visit, your CLT will learn about your medical history, measure your affected and unaffected limbs and answer your questions. After gauging your goals, they will develop a care plan that may include:

  • Hands-on treatment that may include manual drainage to initiate movement of fluid
  • Short stretch bandaging
  • Education on compression garments, skin care and protection of the affected area
  • Exercise programs to help with lymph fluid flow and increase muscle strength

During ongoing appointments, your CLT will adjust treatment as needed to help treat your pain and lessen your lymphedema symptoms.

Lymphedema treatment is one of various treatment options that might be part of your care at Campbell County Health Rehabilitation Services in Gillette, Wyoming. Our compassionate and experienced staff helps each patient, in a team-oriented atmosphere, reach their goals. Call 307.688.8000 to make an appointment, or visit www.cchwyo.org/rehab to learn more.