NDHC Rehab Department has a certified lymphedema therapist on staff.
Lymphedema is a medical condition that affects the body’s lymph nodes and vessels (the lymphatic system). Lymph vessels transport body fluids to the lymph nodes, where the fluid is cleaned and filtered, then returned to the blood. If this system of lymph vessels and nodes is or becomes damaged or if a vessel or node is removed, fluid cannot flow through the system correctly. The fluid overwhelms the damaged lymph vessels and nodes and can accumulate, causing swelling in the affected body part. Lymphedema most commonly affects the arms or legs, although it can affect any body part, and can occur in one limb to all four limbs. Lymphedema can occur anytime after an injury/surgery even years later.
Lymphedema is characterized by: increased fluid retention in tissue, especially near an incision or trauma site; “lumps” often felt in the arm, leg, or genitalia areas; noticing that one arm or leg is bigger than the other; skin changes such as being thicker and dryer than the other side; the involved limb feels “slightly warmer” than the other.
Lymphedema can be treated with manual massage of the body, compression bandaging, exercise, skin care and education in order to manage lymphedema independently.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding lymphedema, please contact Chris Frank, occupational therapist, at NDHC’s Rehab Department.
You can contact us at 701-587-6469 or by email at