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Lymphedema

Blockage or damage to the lymphatic and vascular systems can lead to swelling of tissue in arms, legs, as well as other parts of the body. This is known as lymphedema. Although it cannot be cured, lymphedema can be managed with a program tailored to each person’s individual needs.

NorthShore’s lymphedema treatment program focuses on promoting quality of life by helping people regain the ability and confidence to perform activities of daily living.  Individuals with lymphedema learn strategies to safely maximize extremity function through limb size reduction and self-management of symptoms.

An initial evaluation by a lymphologist or physician who is an expert on the diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema is preferred prior to receiving rehab services at NorthShore. An individualized treatment program will then be prescribed. Licensed occupational and physical therapists who have advanced specialty certification will complete a comprehensive evaluation and develop a personalized plan of care. Treatment strategies may include:

  • Complete decongestive therapy (CDT)
  • Custom garments
  • Lymphedema exercises
  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Multilayered compression bandaging
  • Range of motion (ROM) exercises
  • Scar mobilization
  • Skin care
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises

For more information, please call 847.570.1260.