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Lymphedema Services


Lymphedema can be painful and uncomfortable. With help from Saint Francis Memorial Hospital’s trained lymphedema therapists, lymphedema can be managed.

Saint Francis lymphedema therapists are experienced in performing Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), the current international standard and therapy of choice for the treatment of lymphedema. CDT is endorsed by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

What Is Lymphedema

Lymphedema is swelling or fluid congestion in the arms or legs commonly caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. Lymphedema results from a blockage in the lymphatic system that prevents lymph fluid from draining properly. Unmanaged lymphedema can result in symptoms such as pain, swelling, loss of range of motion, and decreased limb function.

Complete Decongestive Therapy

CDT is a non-invasive, safe, and reliable treatment regime proven to have long-term effectiveness in facilitating drainage and circulation, and reducing the debilitating symptoms that result from a damaged lymphatic system.

CDT may include some or all of the following therapeutic techniques:

  • Graduated compression garment wrapping
  • Manual lymph drainage
  • Patient education
  • Skin care
  • Therapeutic decongestive exercises

Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is an important component of CDT. It is a gentle manual treatment to activate the lymphatic and interstitial fluid circulation. This helps to remove metabolic wastes, alleviate pain, and calm the nervous system. MLD can be used to help accelerate healing from injuries, surgical trauma, chronic conditions, and edemas.

What conditions may benefit from CDT?

  • Dermatological: Acne/eczema, leg ulcers, burns/scars
  • Ear, Nose, Throat: Sinusitis, tinnitus, Meniere’s disease
  • Musculoskeletal: Sprains/strains, muscle/ligament tears, fractures/dislocations, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, neck pain/whiplash, chronic pain
  • Neurological: Tension headaches, migraines, neuralgia, CRPS/RSD, multiple sclerosis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Other Conditions: Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, scleroderma
  • Post-surgical: Post-mastectomy edema, post-hysterectomy edema, varicose veins, post-surgical swelling, post-cosmetic surgery, post-amputation, post vein-stripping

Patient Referrals 

Patients need a current prescription for Complete Decongestive Therapy from their referring physician.

Learn More About Our Lymphedema Therapy Services

For more information on lymphedema therapy services at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital or to schedule an appointment, please call 415.353.6275.