With early detection, diagnosis and the right treatment you can manage lymphedema and prevent it from getting worse. Early treatment leads to the best health outcomes.
If you think you have early signs of lymphedema, the first step is to visit your family doctor, healthcare team or a certified lymphedema therapist. Sadly, some people who suspect they may have lymphedema are told that nothing can be done to help them. That’s just plain wrong. This is one of the main reasons the Lymphedema Association of Ontario exists to help you. We can connect you with information, resources, support groups and certified lymphedema therapists.
Getting lymphedema diagnosed and assessed can lead to effective therapy and the advice you need to manage your lymphedema.
The gold standard of lymphedema management includes Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) given by a certified lymphedema therapist. We can help you find a certified lymphedema therapist. They may be a physiotherapist, occupational therapist, nurse, doctor or registered massage therapist. To be certified as a lymphedema therapist they must have at least 135 hours of post-graduate training to treat lymphedema.
The therapist will assess your lymphedema and then decide on your treatment program.
Lymphedema Therapy includes:
The goal of therapy is to reduce swelling, manage the lymphedema and reduce your risk of it getting worse and leading to other health problems. Your certified lymphedema therapist will guide you through the treatment program and show you how to control your lymphedema with self care.
Read more about help for the costs of lymphedema treatment .
Lymphedema is for life. Just as people with diabetes or a heart condition must learn to manage and live with it, ongoing self-care for lymphedema is vital. It takes time and knowledge, and is something you have to commit to for life. This will help you to better manage your lymphedema and reduce your risk of complications. Read more about how to deal with the emotional effects of lymphedema (Coming Soon).
Children and Lymphedema by Jacquelyne Todd.
Edema-Causing Medications by Neil Piller.
Managing the Emotional Challenges of Lymphedema by Elizabeth McMahon.
Q&A with 2009 Lymphedema Conference Panel of Experts (Dr. Andrea Cheville, Dr. David Keast, Prof. Christine Moffat, Prof. Roanne Thomas-MacLean and Dr. Anna Towers).
Q&A with 2008 Lymphedema Conference Panel of Experts (Robert Harris and Neil Piller).
T: 416.410.2250 Toll-free help line:(1) 877-723-0033 Fax: 416-236-7604 E: firstname.lastname@example.org 4161 Dundas Street WestToronto, ON M8X 1Y2
The LAO is working to improve access to quality lymphedema information, resources and services. We are striving for quality of life for people who are living with lymphedema – and knowledge of how to prevent it in people who are at risk for lymphedema.
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