Mary Jo Cropper Family Center for Breast Care

Lymphedema Program

At the Mary Jo Cropper Family Center for Breast Care, our highly trained staff monitors all cancer patients in order to minimize the chance of lymphedema swelling or – at the very least – catch the swelling early enough to successfully treat it. If treatment is needed, our experts work closely with you and your physician to develop an individualized, effective care plan for you.

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema, an arm swelling that may arise following breast cancer treatment, reportedly affects up to 20 percent of breast cancer survivors. It occurs when the lymphatic system in the axillary (armpit) area is damaged by surgery or radiation therapy. Medical research has shown that the condition can be diagnosed four times earlier when patients are routinely monitored and are educated to perform manual lymphatic drainage.

Certified in Complex Decongestive Therapy

We monitor all of our cancer patients and have a team of physical therapists who are specially trained and certified in complex decongestive therapy (CDT), which helps treat lymphedema.

From a comprehensive fitness program to manual lymph drainage, the Lymphedema Program at TriHealth offers a full range of services for everyone. Our highly trained team works closely with you and your physician to design a coordinated, individualized plan of care that meets your specific needs.

Our Comprehensive Lymphedema Treatment Plan

We use a comprehensive, research-based treatment approach that may include any or a combination of the following:

  • Evaluation to determine the proper course of treatment
  • Manual lymph drainage to drain the lymph fluid from the affected limb using the superficial lymph vessels with a non-invasive therapy technique
  • Comprehensive bandaging of the affected limb to reduce the protein-rich fluid in the swollen tissues
  • Comprehensive fitness program, including instruction in flexibility, strengthening and aerobic activities to enhance the lymph drainage
  • Assistance in selecting equipment/supplies to maintain a therapeutic home program
  • Follow-up treatment with evaluations at scheduled intervals to reassess needs as conditions may change 

What Happens If Lymphedema is Left Untreated?

If left untreated, it creates an environment of stagnant, protein-rich fluid causing lymph channels to increase in size and number. It reduces oxygen tension throughout the transport system, interferes with wound healing, and provides an environment for bacteria, increasing the potential for infection. If the condition of swelling and inflammation persists, the tissue eventually thickens and hardens. This leads to decreased active motion, which will reduce functional use of the arm or leg and can intensify the problem.

Bethesda Montgomery Hand Rehab
10496 Montgomery Road, Suite 101
Cincinnati, OH 45242
Call 513 247 0224
Good Samaritan Hospital Balance Vestibular and Fall Reduction Rehab
375 Dixmyth Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Call 513 862 3475
TriHealth Fitness amp Health Pavilion Lymphedema Program
6200 Pfeiffer Road
Montgomery, OH 45242
Call 513 985 0900