Lymphedema therapist helps reduce swelling in patients
Ali Meyer, PT, DPT, CLT is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) through the Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS)—one of the leading schools in the US for lymphedema management. Ali is excited to bring the Lymphedema Therapy program to SMC providing a new level of specialized care to a community with one of the highest prevalences of breast cancer cases in the state of Nebraska.
What is lymphedema?
- Lymphedema is abnormal swelling in tissues caused by a breakdown in the lymphatic system, due to a malfunctioning of the system or removal/damage of lymph nodes or vessels.
- Lymphedema is a chronic, progressive disease that will worsen over time if left untreated, requiring lifelong treatment. It cannot be cured; however, it can typically be controlled with proper management and compliance with lifestyle changes.
Lymphedema & Breast Cancer
Of the estimated 2-3 million cases of secondary lymphedema in the United States, the majority of these cases are caused by complications associated with breast cancer.
One in 8 women will develop breast cancer during the course of their lives, and of those who seek cancer treatment (lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiation, etc), 42% will develop some degree of lymphedema at 1-year post-operation and 50-75% will develop lymphedema by 5 years post-operation.
Treatment of Lymphedema at Edge Therapy in Wahoo, Nebraska
Currently, the most effective and least invasive treatment is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which can be performed by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. The length of treatment is dependent upon the severity and duration of the lymphedema. Ideally, treatment should begin as soon as possible when lymphedema is diagnosed and early screening is recommended for individuals who have had a known lymphatic system issue.
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) consists of:
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)—A gentle manual stimulation of intact lymphatic vessels to assist in removing fluid.
- Bandaging & compression—Application of low stretch bandages and a compression garment
- Skin hygiene—Education in skin and nail care
- Therapeutic Exercise—Repetitive movement of joints to allow muscles to assist in pumping excess fluid away from the affected area and back toward the heart.
- Self-Care Education—A daily home program will be recommended by your therapist to maintain progress made during therapy treatment.
Want more information?
Call us anytime at 402 443-1426 and we will be happy to answer your questions, schedule an appointment or send you a brochure. You may also wish to click the brochure to the left to download the full Lymphedema brochure that further explains symptoms, treatments, cancer connections...and more! Treatment is available at SMC's Edge Therapy & Wellness in Wahoo, NE.