Paradise Lymphedema

We help patients prevent permanent changes to their body

Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling in the affected body region. While it most commonly affects the arms or legs, it may include the head, neck or trunk. It occurs when the lymphatic system is impaired, blocked or damaged and flow is interrupted.

The most common cause of lymphedema in the United States is cancer treatment, including removal of lymph nodes and radiation therapy. With early identification and proper intervention, lymphedema can be treated and controlled. Our lymphedema clinic offers the most effective and current treatment, called complete decongestive therapy (CDT).

For more information regarding your condition, please call our office at (530) 872-2003.

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a disease of the lymphatic system caused by damage, blockage or impairment of the lymphatic nodes and vessels. This leads to an accumulation of lymphatic fluid causing swelling in the affected body region.

When this occurs, the lymphocytes — cells of the immune system vital in fighting bacteria — cannot circulate normally. The affected region becomes more susceptible to infection. If left untreated, the disease progresses leading to permanent skin changes, limited physical function and, at the very worst, progress to angiosarcoma.

Types and causes

There are two main types of lymphedema: primary and secondary.

Primary lymphedema is caused by a malformation or deformity of the lymphatic system that occurs without any apparent medical or external cause. It may be present at birth or may occur at any time throughout a person’s life, with the most common onset during puberty.

Secondary lymphedema, which is much more common, develops from damage or insult to the lymphatic system. Common causes include:

  • Surgery for malignancies
  • Radiation therapy
  • Removal of lymph nodes
  • Infection or trauma

The most common cause of secondary lymphedema in the United States is cancer treatment. Symptoms can develop at any time after the damage to the lymphatic system occurs. This may be weeks, months or even years later. Lymphedema is unpredictable and usually develops slowly over time.

Treatment plan

Lymphedema is a lifelong condition without a known cure. However, with early identification and proper intervention, the condition can be treated before permanent changes occur.

Presently, the most effective and comprehensive approach recommended by physicians is complete decongestive therapy (CDT). The goal of our program is not only to provide treatment, but also to teach you how you can manage your symptoms at home.

The treatment consists of five basic steps:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage (a gentle manual technique) to stimulate collateral lymphatic channels and redirect the flow of lymphatic fluid
  • Compression bandaging to facilitate lymph flow and prevent refilling of the body region between treatment sessions
  • Individualized remedial exercise program (with compression bandaging or compression garment) to stimulate lymphatic pathways and Improve range of motion
  • Skin and nail care
  • Patient education and instruction in self-care

If you are interested in more information about lymphedema and treatment of lymphedema, please contact our clinic at (530) 872-2003.

Contact us

Adventist Health Feather River Rehabilitation Services
6283 Clark Road, Suite 1
Paradise, CA 95969
(530) 872-2003