Lymphedema Treatment and Lymphatic System care in Dallas, TX
The body’s lymphatic system is an important part of the circulatory and immune systems that most people have never heard of, until there is a malfunction. The lymphatic system is made vessels, which are tubes that carry fluid, and Lymph nodes that are tiny organs located in clusters which filter the fluid. Bone marrow, the spleen, and intestinal lymph tissue are also part of the lymphatic system that work together to make up the immune system.
The lymphatic system functions primarily to carry away cellular waste that is produced as part of normal metabolism as the cells use the nutrients from the blood, and to rid the body of bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that are killed by the immune cells. It also works to transport long-chain fats that we eat (the unhealthy kind) into the bloodstream as they are absorbed from the intestines. Ultimately lymphatic fluid becomes urine. Think of the lymphatic system as the body’s detox system and sewer system for fluids.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
This is a manual technique of stimulating the lymphatic system to move more fluid and move it faster. Think of it as a type of very light, yet very specific massage. Just like your heart picks up its pace when you exercise, the lymphatic system picks up its pace when its stimulate. This helps a slow and sluggish system clear itself better. Ideal for preparing your body before surgery to increase immune function and decrease swelling. Also wonderful for the immune compromised, or those who have trouble with chronic inflammatory conditions.
Lymphedema is a chronic swelling that can be occurs in any body part where the lymphatic system has been damaged due to some sort injury, surgery, or other trauma. It can be secondary to venous insufficiency and lipedema. People born with a primary lymphedema resulting from a genetic defect may have swelling at birth or it may not appear until young adulthood or later in life.
Treatment for lymphedema is called complete decongestive therapy, or CDT, and its very effective. Several factors go into the individual outcome but many people can live with a perfectly normal size arm or leg. We provide the four main components of lymphedema treatment:
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
- Multi-layer Compression Bandaging
- Skin Care
- Compression Garment assessment and referral
More information about lymphedema can be found at:
The Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LEARN) lymphaticnetwork.org
The National Lymphedema Network (NLN) www.lymphnet.org