Fortaleza is now offering Lymphedema Services!

Fortaleza is now offering Lymphedema Services!

Amanda Ally is a licensed Occupational Therapist and Certified Lymphedema Therapist (trained at the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy) and is now practicing Lymphedema at Fortaleza What is Lymphedema? Lymphedema is an abnormal collection of high-protein fluid just beneath the skin. This swelling, or edema, occurs most commonly in the arm or leg, but it also may occur in other parts of the body including the breast or trunk, head and neck, or genitals. Lymphedema usually develops when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed (secondary lymphedema) but can also be present when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired due to a hereditary condition (primary lymphedema).( www.Lymphnet.org) Lymphedema is a life-long chronic disease. There is no cure, but there can be successfully managed with treatment to reduce the lymphedema close to prior levels, improving skin integrity, and a customize fitting garments to be worn by the patient every day. Lymphedema Treatment: The gold standard treatment of Lymphedema is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). There are two phases to CDT, the Initial Phase and the Maintenance Phase. In the Initial Phase, the main goals are to: 1) Reduce the size of the affected body part 2) Increase lymph drainage from the congested area 3) Provide alternate passageways for lymph drainage away from the affected lymph nodes 4) If present, reduce fibrosis and improve skin integrity 5) Educate the patient on the disease and lifelong maintenance 6) Improve quality of life and reduce discomfort. . This can take anywhere to 3-8 weeks and is completely individualized. In the Maintenance Phase, the main goals are: 1) Have the patient learn Self-Lymph drainage 2) Home Lymphatic exercises 3) Skin Care regimen 4) Teaching on self- bandaging and application of compression garments Compression garments must be replaced every 4-6 months to be effective. Patients should return every 4-6 months to get fitted and have a re-evaluation to make sure lymph volume is still reduced. If you have Lymphedema, please get a prescription from your doctor and schedule an evaluation today!!!

References: "Position Statement of the National Lymphedema Network." The Diagnosis And Treatment Of Lymphedema. National Lymphedema Network, Feb. 2011. Web. Apr. 2015. <http://www.lymphnet.org/pdfDocs/nlntreatment.pdf>.


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