The Center for Restorative Therapies at Mercy helps patients manage secondary lymphedema due to treatment for breast cancer, melanoma, gynecological cancer, head/neck cancers as well as other conditions.
The Center for Restorative Therapies at Mercy has a unique approach to managing early stage lymphedema through its state-of-the art Early Intervention Program. Our Early Intervention Lymphedema Treatment Program includes:
- A proactive approach to the prevention of secondary lymphedema after cancer treatment
- Maintaining or improving a patient’s quality of life
- Decreasing the incidence of chronic lymphedema and the need for lifelong treatment
- Decreasing a patient’s cost of managing lymphatic disease
- Developing a treatment protocol for patients with sub clinical lymphedema
The Early Intervention Lymphedema Treatment Program is based on The National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) standards that are outlined in the new NLN (National Lymphedema Network) guidelines for early detection of breast cancer related lymphedema.
Our program also offers Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is an intensive treatment for the management of chronic lymphedema. CDT, which is the internationally recognized treatment for lymphedema, combines:
- Specialized massage techniques known as Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
- Meticulous skin and nail care
- Specialized short-stretch compression bandaging and garments
- Remedial lymphatic exercises
- Comprehensive self-care training
CDT involves an intensive phase of treatment five days per week for approximately three to four weeks. The maintenance phase begins once a patient has achieved maximum volume reductions and has obtained their day-time compression garments. Patients continue with self-bandaging or utilize an alternative compression device. They also learn self MLD, skin care, and exercise.
Numerous programs are available in the community to support the self-care phase. Patients also are seen for follow-up visits to assess their progress and obtain new compression garments every six months.