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  • Rehabilitation Services

  • Outpatient Rehabilitation Services

    The Miriam Hospital
    195 Collyer Street Suite 301
    Providence, RI 02904

    Office Hours

    Monday through Friday
    7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Lymphedema Program

  • Nurse with patient

    Lymphedema is a swelling of the soft tissues, usually in the leg and ankle, or in the arm and hand, resulting from the buildup of lymphatic fluid. Lymphedema may be primary or, more commonly, secondary to surgery or radiation treatment.

    Lymphedema may also develop in the legs and feet, often secondary to abdominal or groin surgery. In either case treatment is the same. Left untreated, the condition can become severe, painful, disfiguring and resistant to treatment. At first sign of lymphedema, patients should be referred for treatment because early diagnosis and treatment significantly improves the prognosis.

    Physical and occupational therapists competent in lymphedema management use an intensely "hands-on" approach to treat lymphedema.

    Treatment Includes:

    • Manual lymphatic massage to gently direct fluid away from the impaired lymphatic areas

    • Compression bandaging to help prevent fluid from returning to swollen areas

    • Compression pump therapy to assist with circulation

    • Compression garments to maintain reduced limb size

    • Exercise to keep the joints flexible

    • Patient education, including information about skin care and home edema management, to help patients understand the cause and appropriate treatment

    More about the Lymphedema Program