Sarah Anderson, Physical Therapist and Assistant Director of Physical Medicine at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center discussed Lymphedema to a group of approximately 60 local residents on Tuesday, August 6th at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan’s monthly Connections seminar, held at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center.
Anderson explained what lymphedema is and how it is treated. Lymphedema is the build-up of fluid in the soft body tissues when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. Usually the arm and leg are affected but it can also affect other parts of the body. The most common cause of Lymphedema is the removal of lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.
Kris Turner, Physical Therapist and Barb Williams, Physical Therapist Assistant explained how decongestive massage, compression bandaging and skin care can help control the swelling. Therapists will give many treatments over a short period of time to help decrease the swelling in the limb. Therapy usually takes place every day for 1 to 2 weeks. Turner and Williams showed a demonstration on how they bandage an arm to help reduce the swelling. Once the swelling is reduced a special compression sleeve or stocking is fitted to help the patient control the swelling during the day.
The Physical Medicine Department is located at both Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon and St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia. For more information on the physical medicine services or upcoming Connections seminars and screenings of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan, please visit smgsi.com or call 888.257.6098.