With 18 years of experience in treating lymphedema, we have helped many people with this diagnosis, treating as many as 200 patients per year.
Our treatment begins with a thorough physical therapy evaluation. The therapist will talk to you about your medical history and perform a thorough physical exam including an inspection of the involved area, a look at your movement patterns, strength, skin mobility, scars, pain, and any other necessary observations. The therapist will discuss the findings with you then recommend a plan of care. Together, you and your therapist will decide on the best course of action.
Typically, you can expect the therapy sessions to be three to five times per week, with the duration depending on the severity of the problem. Each session is one hour long. The sessions typically combine a form of soft tissue mobilization, which feels like a gentle massage, some form of compression, exercise and education regarding self management. The sooner you seek treatment, the less therapy is required, and the easier the self management is.
We recommend that all patients who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have a pre-surgical consultation with a physical therapist at Forté Rehabilitation and Wellness Center to establish baseline data, get a post-surgical exercise program, and obtain optimal education to reduce the risk of getting lymphedema.