Emory Johns Creek Hospital's (EJCH) Rehabilitation Services department is now offering an outpatient treatment program for patients suffering from lymphedema.
According to the American Cancer Society, lymphedema is a build-up of lymph fluid in the fatty tissues just beneath the skin. The swelling occurs most often in the arms or legs. The condition can result from surgery or radiation therapy used to treat certain cancers. Experts say the best way to manage lymphedema is complete decongestive therapy (CDT). Treatment includes: manual lymphatic drainage, compression, special exercises to release lymph fluid out of the swollen area and improved skin care.
Crystal Champion, PT, DPT, CLT, is one of four Certified Lymphedema Therapists serving patients at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. Champion says she believes this new program will improve quality of life for patients.
"Our goal with lymphedema therapy is to restore physical function for patients so they can get back to activities that they enjoy," Champion says.
Sessions for lymphedema patients last at least one hour and are recommended several times a week, ranging from 2 – 12 weeks. The length of treatment depends on the severity of lymphedema. EJCH Certified Lymphedema Therapists are available to treat outpatients Monday – Friday by appointment only from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. EJCH's rehabilitation clinic is located at 11670 Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek.