Treatments and Services

Hospital Hospital Rehabilitation Services offers a comprehensive program to manage Edema and Lymphedema. Certified therapists provide education, specialized therapy, exercise instruction and care techniques to control the effects of Edema and help patients live healthier, more active lives.

Successful treatment of Edema begins with individualized evaluation and education. Therapists work closely with each patient to assess the severity of the problem, explore treatment options and establish a personalized rehabilitation plan.

Treatments for Edema and Lymphedema can include:
  • Compression bandages to increase tissue pressure and prevent fluid build-up
  • Manual lymph drainage to redirect fluid and reduce swelling
  • Specific exercises to keep fluids moving in affected limbs
  • Skin care to maintain healthy tissue and prevent infection

Manual therapy for lymphedema should begin with someone specially trained in treating lymphedema. In this type of lymph drainage, the soft tissues of the body are lightly rubbed, tapped, and stroked. It is a very light touch, almost like a brushing. Maual lymph drainage may help move lymph out of the swollen area into an area with working lymph vessels. Patients can be taught to do this type of therapy themselves.

Combined physical therapy is a program of manual lymph drainage, bandaging, exercises, and skin care managed by a trained therapist. At the beginning of the program, the therapist gives many treatments over a short time to decrease most of the swelling in the limb with lymphedema. Then the patient continues the program at home to keep the swelling down. Combined therapy is also called complex decongestive therapy.

The goals of rehabilitation treatment are:

  • keep your arms or legs from swelling
  • increase the amount of fluid your remaining lymph vessels can handle to decrease the load of swelling in affected areas
  • establish new pathways for the lymph fluid to travel through
  • decrease scar tissue
  • avoid the return of lymph fluid in your arms or legs
  • reduce infections
  • improve the strength, range of motion and use of your arms or legs.



Holland Hospital Rehabililtation Services
(616) 355-3987