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St. Joseph health! - Summer 2014

Lymphedema Services

Lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid in the tissues, usually causes swelling of an arm or leg, often as a result of surgery, radiation treatment, infection or abnormalities within the lymph nodes. The surgeries that require removal of lymph nodes, such as those for breast, prostate, testicular, bladder or colon cancer, can place patients at risk for developing lymphedema.

Symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • swelling in a specific area
  • a sensation of fullness in a limb or tightness of the skin
  • decreased flexibility, pain
  • difficulty fitting into clothing in one specific area

Lymphedema can be controlled with appropriate care. Our team of licensed clinicians works in partnership with your doctor, and includes occupational and physical therapists. We have therapists that are certified in Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) and certified with The Lymphology Association of North America (LANA). CDT is one of the most effective approaches used to treat lymphedema. It includes:

  • specific massage techniques to help move accumulated fluid
  • compression bandaging to prevent reaccumulation of fluid
  • hygiene and skin care to prevent infection
  • exercise to maintain decongestion
  • self-care and maintenance at home
  • compression garments

Ask your doctor about a referral to Franciscan Lymphedema Services. We have three convenient locations. Click here for hours and fax numbers.

St. Joseph Outpatient Center
Tacoma
253-426-4400

St. Francis Outpatient Center
Federal Way
253-944-7970

St. Anthony Hospital
Gig Harbor
253-530-2680