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St. Charles Opens Lymphedema Care Center

October 10th, 2017

St. Charles Hospital has opened a new center dedicated to treating patients with lymphedema, a condition in which one’s arms and legs swell due to blockages or damage in the body’s fluid drainage system. The most common cause for lymphedema is cancer or treatment for cancer.

“Adding a Lymphedema Care Center was a natural choice for St. Charles, which offers a broad range of outpatient therapy, from physical therapy for those recovering from orthopedic surgery to specialized therapies for those living with the effects of complex diagnoses, including cancer,” said Jim O’Connor, Executive Vice President/ Chief Administrative Officer, St. Charles.

Lymphedema care at St. Charles’ new Center is provided by a team of experts, including a vascular physician and a certified Lymphatic Therapist. The vascular physician can help explain symptoms, and diagnose and treat lymphedema, which can be difficulty to identify, especially in its earliest stages. The Center’s certified Lymphatic Therapist offers Complete Decongestive Therapy, (CDT) a proven, two-phase method to reduce swelling in the affected limbs and maintain that reduction overtime. CDT includes massage to drain fluids, application of compression bandages, and exercises.

Lymphedema is a chronic condition which can progress over time, making it difficult to move, wear shoes, walk comfortably, or perform tasks with one’s hands or arms. In advanced stages, swelling can stretch the skin and cause bleeding, sores or repeated infections. Lymphedema is especially prevalent among women who have received radiation or surgery for cancer of the breast, which contains more than 20 lymphatic nodes, or filters, through which fluid passes.

For more information, about the Lymphedema Care Center at St. Charles Hospital, please call (631) 474-6797.