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NUMC to Offer Lymphedema Therapy to Breast Cancer Surgery Patients

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid which causes chronic inflammation of affected tissue.

Arthur Gianelli, the President/CEO of the NuHealth System, announced the start of a lymphedema therapy service to be offered in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the (NUMC) to women suffering from the debilitating effects following breast cancer surgery.

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid which causes chronic inflammation of affected tissue. Lymphedema is a common side effect of breast cancer treatment in particular. While it is not life threatening, it is however uncomfortable with numbness and infection possibilities.

“Under the leadership of Lyn Weiss, MD, chair, and Lyn Alkes, OTR, RN, certified lymphatic therapist, women suffering from a common side effect of breast cancer will benefit from a combination of techniques which include manual compression, lymphatic massage, compression bandages and/or customized garments and remedial exercises, helping to restore optimum function to women following breast cancer surgery,” said Gianelli. “It is very important to treat lymphedema as soon as it develops in order to avoid and control complications going forward.”

“We are delighted to offer this new and much needed service to help make a difference in a woman’s life, especially those recovering following breast cancer surgery," Dr. Weiss said. "Ms. Alkes underwent extensive training to gain proficiency in treating these patients. This therapy will help to relieve discomfort and pain , help to restore optimum function and improve their lives.”

Decongestion therapy consists of stimulating the skin and the underlying multitude of lymphatic vessels by a well trained hand of a certified lymphatic therapist. Customized bandages are applied at the end of the treatment session with the goal to minimize the re-accumulation of fluid and to reshape the limb so that it resembles the unaffected limb. The compression sleeve is an elasticized sleeve, customized to patient’s limb and can be used alone or with manual lymphatic drainage.

For additional information of for a consultation, please call 516-572-6533. Lymphatic therapy service is covered by most forms of insurance, with bandages or compression garments provided partly or on a sliding scale.

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