The Leg Swelling & Lymphedema Center
The Leg Swelling & Lymphedema Center at Milford Vascular Institute is a state-of-the-art treatment clinic for patients suffering from extremity swelling and lymphedema.
The Leg Swelling & Lymphedema Center at Milford Vascular Institute was founded to aid an under served community of people suffering from leg swelling and lymphedema. The Center uses a holistic approach to treating and healing edema. Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is the standard of care for the treatment of lymphedema. CDT is performed by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT).
What Causes Leg Swelling?
There are many different potential culprits for swelling in a person's extremities. To achieve an accurate diagnosis, our experts at Milford Vascular Institute use a variety of diagnostic tests. The most common causes for lower extremity (leg) swelling are:
JENNIFER PASSONI, DPT, CLT
Jen is the Center's Certified Lymphedema Therapist. She is dedicated to helping patients improve their quality of life. Through counseling, Jen and our patients at the Leg Swelling & Lymphedema Center build individualized programs to work for their personal needs and goals.
SARAH OKAMOTO, PTA
Sarah is a physical therapy assistant for the Center. She works along side Jen to help improve the quality of life for patients suffering from leg swelling and lymphedema.
What to expect
There are 6 key components to complete decongestive therapy (CDT); the gold standard of treatment for patients with leg swelling & lymphedema.
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)
MLD is a light massage that focuses on skin-stretching to help promote the movement of lymphatic fluid out of the swollen extremity. For optimal benefits, patients should be scheduled for this therapy 3 to 5 times a week for 4 to 6 weeks.
Bandaging is an important part of lymphedema therapy. A variety of bandages and wrapping techniques are used during therapy to help move the fluid out of the tissues. This technique is used during appointments with the our lymphedema specialist and as part of the maintaince care program.
Exercise therapy is an important aspect of lymphedema rehabilitation. Some studies have even shown that patients who incorporate exercise into their therapy for lymphedema have a reduced incidence for lymphedema flare-ups. This is why we incorporate exercise therapy in our treatment protocol for lymphedema patients. Therapy includes in-office, lymphedema therapist monitored exercises, like walking on a treadmill and pedaling a stationary bike, and an at home exercise regime. For optimal benefits, patients should perform at home exercises daily. Monitored exercise therapy should be scheduled 3 to 5 times a week.
Skin & Nail Care Education
Proper skin care education is incredibly important for lymphedema patients. During their initial meeting with our lymphedema therapist, patients will be instructed to keep their skin clean and to moisturize daily with a gentle moisturizer (such as Eucerin). Additionally, since lymphedema patients are at high risk for developing infections, patients are instructed to check their skin daily for cuts, scratches, irritation, or sign of infection.
Every patient has a different cause for their lymphedema and different factors which contribute to the worsening of their disease. Self-care training is a very important aspect of our lymphedema program to the team at Milford Vascular Institute. We pride ourselves on having created a practice that is able to care for each patient as a whole person, not just the ailment that brought them to our clinic. Our goal with self-care counseling is to help patients learn how to deal with stress, work toward any necessary weight-loss goals, and build healthy habits they can take with them for the rest of their lives.
Compression garments may be prescribed to patients for daily wear and use while not at therapy or using their pneumatic compression device. These garments use gradient compression to prevent and reduce swelling. They are very beneficial for helping fluid move to an area that is draining well.
Pneumatic Compression Devices
Pneumatic compression pumps are prescribed to patients suffering from leg swelling or lymphedema who have failed perviously prescribed conservative therapies. They are also proposed to supplement standard of care for patients with venous ulcers. A variety of pumps are available; they can be single chamber (non-segmented) or multi-chamber (segmented) and have varying design and complexity.
Pneumatic compression devices consist of an inflatable garment for the arm, leg, trunk, chest, or a combination of these pieces, and an electrical pneumatic pump that fills the garment with compressed air. The garment is intermittently inflated and deflated with cycle times and pressures that vary between devices. As the compartments fill with air and the device squeezes the affected area. This increases blood flow through the veins and flushes excess fluid and blood built up in the extremities.
Most patients notice a significant decrease in swelling when they couple in-office CDT with at-home pneumatic compression device treatments.
Questions about lymphedema or interested in scheduling an appointment? Call (203)882-VEIN(8346) to schedule a new patient consultation.