Lymphedema is a condition of localized fluid retention caused by a disruption to the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system collects and filters the interstitial fluid of the body.
Causes of lymphedema may be inherited or caused by injury to the lymphatic vessels. Injury may include cancer, trauma or illness.
Lymphedema is most frequently seen after lymph node surgery and/or radiation therapy to the lymph nodes or the surrounding tissue.
In many patients this condition does not develop until months or even years after the initial damage has occurred. Lyphedema usually affects the legs or arms.
The danger with lymphedema comes from the constant risk of developing an uncontrolled infection in the affected limb.
MaineGeneral has two certified lymphedema therapists on staff. Their treatment philosopy includes both manual and mechanical drainage options.
Manual drainage includes:
- Exercise; and
The mechanical drainage includes a Sequential Gradient Pump which further assists in the drainage of the lymphatic system. If the patient requires a compression sleeve or glove, our therapists can help to measure the patient for this item and order it.
For more information, please call:
- Augusta: (207) 621-7500
- Waterville: (207) 872-4400