MOUNT GILEAD — Mary Graham, our COTA (certified occupational therapy assistant), at Morrow County Hospital recently completed lymphedema training and passed a certification test so she can now treat this patient population here.
This is a new outpatient service offered Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Lymphedema is a collection of fluid in the interstitial tissue causing swelling. This typically occurs in the arms or legs and sometimes other body parts. Lymphedema is not limited to people who have had surgery or even cancer.
Most patients will come upon the recommendation/referral of their provider. Any provider can refer, but we normally receive referrals from surgeons, including general, orthopedics, oncologists, heart and vascular specialists, but also PCPs, rheumatology, medical and radiation oncologists.
We can treat lymphedema in patients being seen in our wound clinic who may be referred by a podiatrist. Patients can also come to us directly and ask if they may be a candidate and we could talk to their provider.
Common patients who may develop lymphedema include post-op total knee patients, patients who’ve had lymph node removal or dissection, and those with poor circulation and poor mobility.
Lymphedema therapy helps reduce fluid and swelling in your limbs. Treatment techniques can include manually draining lymph nodes, compression dressings, exercise and education. Patients of all ages can be diagnosed with lymphedema and can benefit from therapy services.
Information provided by Morrow County Hospital.