Lymphedema & Treatment
Not all of your breast cancer (BC) patients will develop lymphedema that said all of your patients should be educated on the risks, what not to do, skin care, exercise, and the signs and symptoms of lymphedema.
Who is at risk?
Any patient who has had axillary or sentinel lymph node dissection (ALND/SNLD), or Radiation to the axillary or supraclavicular region.
Patients at risk who will be flying or traveling to high altitude areas, who currently do not have any symptoms, should be fit for a compression garment to wear during their travel. I say this because I have seen many women after they have traveled who had not been told that this could affect their arm.
Early intervention is so important, Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) started 2 days post operatively has shown to reduce the chances for Lymphedema; this makes sense as the lymphatics can be rerouted during this critical time.
Quality of life is improved when women have some control over their treatment. Having the information for self-care, early MLD post-operative and patient instruction on how to
self-treat with MLD at home on a daily basis has improved my clients outlook, and outcomes.
You can now refer your patients with insurance to the St. Catherine Hospital Physical Therapy Dept.. We are so pleased they have added a Lymphedema Therapist to the staff.
If you have a patient that does not have insurance you can send them to The Shift Center, our rates would be far less than the hospital and your patients will receive the same great care. Kriz has worked with clients since 2012 and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.
See Certification: Click Here
Below are links to Pub Med abstracts, NCI articles, and a letter from a Physician who lives with lymphedema.
Letter from a Physician with secondary Lymphedema to ALL Physicians
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy
Efficacy of Manual Lymph Drainage in preventing Secondary Lymphedema following Breast Cancer Surgery : MLD applied starting Day 2 Post-Operative
National Lymphedema Network: 2011
National Cancer Institute: "Ideally, education should begin before treatment"