HIGHLAND– HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland has introduced lymphedema treatment, information, education and support to patients with a physician referral.
Lymphedema is a chronic condition resulting in the swelling of one or more limbs and often the corresponding quadrant of the trunk, face, neck, and/or genitals. It is caused by the disruption of the lymphatic system which leads to the accumulation of lymphatic fluid in body tissues.
Lymphedema may occur following some surgeries, trauma, disease or radiation therapy, which results in damage to the lymphatic system, or can be genetic. Symptoms often include heaviness or fullness sensation of limb, skin feeling tight, decreased flexibility, swelling in specific area and non-healing wounds.
If lymphedema goes untreated, it can lead to conditions or health issues including:
• Cancer or cancer surgery
• Lymph node removal
• Cardiac bypass surgery
• Venous insufficiency
• Deep vein thrombosis
Those with lymphedema have help available locally through HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Highland and Breese, which are now offering a highly effective treatment for lymphedema known as complete decongestive therapy (CDT). This state-of-the-art treatment, recommended by the International Society of Lymphology, often includes two to four weeks of treatment and may include manual lymph drainage; compressive pumps, garments and bandaging; therapeutic exercise; and skin care. Proper treatment will lead to:
• Reduction of swelling to normal or near normal size.
• Wound healing and reduced risk of skin infections.
• Softened skin texture and improved skin health.
• Improved functioning of the affected limb.
• Improved quality of life through effective swelling control.
Tonya Troxell, occupational therapist, received her certification in lymphedema therapy from Klose Training. She is trained to help treat and manage lymphedema as well as other conditions that cause swelling. Treatment is available at both HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospitals in Highland and Breese. Services are available with a physician referral and with a scheduled appointment.
For more information about HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Rehabilitation Services, visit the hospital’s web site at stjosephshighland.org. HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Highland is part of the Southern Illinois Division of Hospital Sisters Health System, which also includes HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, and HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville.
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