Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center
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Lymphedema Treatment Program

The Presence Physical Rehab and Sports Injury Center provides a new, highly successful approach to lymphedema treatment called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).

CDT is a comprehensive approach to lymphedema treatment. The goal of the treatment program is to educate and teach each patient the skills needed to manage their lymphedema condition and improve their quality of life. Our staff therapists are certified in lymphedema treatment.
CDT consists of four primary components:

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD):
Performed by a specially trained physical therapist, MLD is a manual technique that improves the lymph vascular system and reroutes the protein-rich edema fluid from the blocked area to a healthy region for transport/absorption.

Compression Bandaging

Following MLD treatment, the physical therapist bandages the affected limb(s) with short stretch bandages to help prevent re-accumulation of the lymph fluid and improve the efficiency of the muscle and joint pump.

Once the extremity is bandaged, the physical therapist instructs the patient with special exercises designed to increase the lymph vessel activity and lymph circulation. The exercises are light and easy to learn.


Each patient receives ongoing education regarding skin and nail care, self-bandaging, exercises and massage. Family members also receive education, if needed, so they can assist with their loved one's treatment.

Getting Started
All patients must have a referral from their physician to participate in the Lymphedema Treatment Program. Our physical therapists work closely with each patient's physician to determine the best treatment plan for each individual, based on the severity of the lymphedema and each individual's specific needs. During scheduled appointments, patients should wear loose clothing to accommodate compression bandages.

For more information on lymphedema treatment, call the Presence Physical Rehab and Sports Injury Center at 815.741.7114.


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