Do you have swollen legs?
Perhaps you have lymphedema? Receiving treatment can improve your quality of life and reduce the rise of complications due to the condition. Early detection can lead to a better quality of life. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our specialists to learn more about the condition and Lymphedema treatment options.
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Treatments for Lymphedema
It’s important for lymphedema patients to continue moving, even when swelling in the limb makes it difficult. Movement helps the lymph vessels drain excess lymphatic fluid and can therefore help prevent the condition from worsening.
When lymphedema is caused by chronic venous insufficiency, vein ablation may be used to treat the underlying cause. Vein ablation uses heat, either from a laser or radiofrequency energy, or medical adhesive (VenaSealTM) as well as Varithena treatment to seal off damaged veins. The treated veins are reabsorbed into the body and blood flow is rerouted to healthy veins.
This is a gentle massage technique used to help manually push lymph fluid out of the affected limb, encouraging proper drainage. This massage technique may be done by a physical therapist, and your therapist may show you some techniques you can use at home, as well.
Your doctor or therapist may teach you special bandaging techniques to help lymph fluid drain. Bandaging involves wrapping tighter at your toes and loosening the wrapping as you work your way towards the trunk, creating a funnel of sorts to direct lymph fluid out of the limb.
Your doctor may recommend that compression garments be worn on the affected limb to encourage lymph drainage. Exercise is often combined with compression therapy to improve drainage even further.
Pneumatic compression uses a sleeve that attaches to a pump and fills with air intermittently to help pump the lymph fluid back to the trunk.
What is the Goal of Lymphedema Treatment
Since lymphedema is a longterm condition, you may wonder what good all the treatments offered for it really does. The main goals of lymphedema treatment are as follows:
- Reducing the retention of lymph fluid
- Improving the quality of life; improving both physical and mental health
- Improving mobility and range of motion
- Prevent infection
- Treating the underlying cause of lymphedema (e.g. Chronic Venous Insufficiency)
Since lymphedema may cause a great deal of discomfort and several complications if left untreated, it’s important to begin treatment early and keep up with the therapies recommended by your doctor. Severe lymphedema can make it difficult to use the affected limb and may require surgery, so a proactive approach can keep those suffering from the condition from many hardships.
If one has lymphedema, one should undergo a diagnostic ultrasound evaluation to identify if venous insufficiency is an underlying factor. If venous insufficiency is diagnosed, patients should undergo treatment. The combination of lymphedema and venous insufficiency is called phlebolymphedema.
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United Vein & Vascular Centers is a designated IAC-accredited vascular testing and vein treatment center with board certified physicians and surgeons specializing in vein, vascular, and wound procedures. Your leg health and quality of life are important to us. Let us help you get back on your feet. A majority of testing and treatments for non-healing wounds can be performed outpatient without requiring hospitalization. Most insurance providers including Medicare cover wound treatments; feel free to ask us about your coverage. We’re available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about seeking wound treatment. Contact us today to talk about taking charge of your health.