Health & Medicine
How to treat arm lymphedema

How to treat arm lymphedema

Lymphedema is the accumulation of protein-rich fluid (lymph) at one end as a result of an overload of the lymphatic system where the lymph accumulated volume exceeds the drainage capacity thereof. Lymphedema is the most important treatment of breast cancer sequel. The therapist is trained for the physical treatment of lymphedema by Manual Lymphatic Drainage and containment arm lymphedema compression healthcare professional.
Effective treatment of lymphedema is based on four physiotherapy measurements performed in 2 arm lymphedema Phase I or Phase II decompression or maintenance.


Phase I or decompression Hygiene Skin Care: the skin care plays a major role in the treatment of lymphedema, as the increase in arm volume it relaxes and becomes more delicate. To do this, use mild soaps and moisturizers use.

Manual Lymphatic arm lymphedema must be performed by a physical therapist trained in Manual Lymphatic Drainage and experience in the treatment of lymphedema that occurs after surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer. The objective is lymphedema reabsorption and the activation of the superficial lymphatic drainage.

Compression arm lymphedema is an essential step in the treatment of lymphedema and placed immediately after manual lymphatic drainage. The bandage should not cause any discomfort in the arm and it is essential it is secure even after physical activity.

Bandage objectives are to increase the uptake of lymph tissue, reducing the flow of the venous system and increase their return.

During this phase, the therapist will teach the patient how to don the blindfold and she will have to do during the maintenance phase of treatment.

Contraindications drainage and arm lymphedema both generalized infections (influenza, bronchitis) and local (lymphangitis), thrombosis or thrombophlebitis at arm affection, skin lesions and can be an eczema or dermatitis, lymph node involvement by the tumor.

Phase II or maintenance Compression Stockings: in this phase the arm compression is achieved by using compression stockings, adapted to the size of the arm. This average should always wear it during the day.

arm lymphedema the exercises in this phase should be made with compression stocking set to achieve greater benefits, and will be the same as those made in the prevention of lymphedema.

Hygienic skin arm lymphedema once established lymphedema should further extreme skin care to prevent infectious complications.

In cases where the use of certain ortho prosthetic products (bandages, compression stockings, etc. ) needed to know that, always indicating the specialist or medical practitioner, can apply National Institute of Health Management for a financial aid to cover the cost thereof.

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