July 18, 2019

Lymphedema Treatment now available at Huggins Hospital

Huggins Hospital is now offering Complete Decongestive Therapy to patients with lymphedema. Treatments are provided by Certified Lymphedema Therapist Erin Scott, MSPT, WTA, and can provide relief from many symptoms.

Lymphedema is the swelling of a body part due to the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the affected area, most often the extremities. It can also occur in the face, neck, abdomen and genitals.

The following treatments are now available at Huggins Hospital to help stimulate the lymphatic system, control swelling and prevent infections:

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD): A light skin stretching technique that stimulates the lymphatic system.
  • Compression: Layered bandaging with foam or specially fitted garments that support the swollen area to control swelling.
  • Exercises: With compression, special exercises will help to pump lymph out of the swollen area.
  • Skin Care: Keeping the skin clean and moisturized will help to prevent infections that often can happen with lymphedema.
  • Self-Care Management and Training: Learning how to manage your lymphedema at home.

Up to 10 million Americans, and hundreds of millions worldwide, suffer from lymphedema and lymphatic diseases, according to the Lymphatic Education & Research Network.

Lymphedema is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary lymphedema is the result of lymphatic dysplasia. It may be present at birth, but more often develops later in life without obvious cause. Secondary lymphedema is more common and the result of surgery and/or radiation therapy for cancer. Secondary forms may also occur after injury, scarring, trauma or infection of the lymphatic system.

If left untreated, lymphedema can cause a progressive hardening of the affected tissues. Infections such as cellulitis, erysipelas or lymphangitis may also develop in people suffering from lymphedema.

Referrals are required and appointments can be made through Back Bay Rehabilitation by calling 603.569.7565 or by faxing a referral directly to 603.569.3026.