Dec 5, 2023 Lymphedema Risk Reduction Practices

By Patricia Nolan, PT, MPT, CIT-LANA, Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid (lymph) in an area of the body due to lymphatic system dysfunction. With this accumulation of fluid, over time, skin quality can be impacted and there is an increased risk of tissue infection. The National Lymphedema Network provides useful information for lymphedema patients, including the following habits that can help reduce risk.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle including a healthy diet and regular exercise
  • Schedule regular medical checkups and seek out a Certified Lymphedema Therapist to be part of your medical team
  • Perform daily skin care including daily moisturizing and good hygiene
  • Monitor for signs of tissue infection; including redness, warmth, pain and flu-like symptoms
  • Avoid trauma to the swollen body part
  • Avoid constricting clothing and jewelry
  • Avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity

Patricia Nolan, PT, MPT, CIT-LANA, is a Physical Therapist at the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center (ACC). Patricia has 22 years of clinical experience and has been on staff at the ACC since 2006. Her areas of specialty are lymphedema, breast cancer rehabilitation and pelvic floor dysfunction. She always strives to provide compassionate and understanding care for her patients.

The experienced and compassionate staff at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center Rehabilitation centers, with locations in West Orange and Livingston, offers adults and children the specialized care they need to resume an active life after surgery, injury or illness. Staff is committed to providing patients with the most advanced services in a safe, caring and soothing environment. For high-risk patients who are unable to visit in person, telehealth is an option. Patients do not need a prescription for physical therapy services.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 973-322-7500.