Post Mastectomy and Lymphedema
Post-mastectomy lymphedema can occur in the arms and legs. It is a fluid produced by your body's lymphatic system to fight infection. If the lymph vessels that carry the fluid are missing, impaired, damaged or removed, an abnormal amount of fluid can collect in the tissues of the affected area causing the tissue to swell and become abnormally large. It interferes with wound healing and provides and environment for bacteria to grow which can result in an infection if left untreated. The most effective treatment for lymphedema, which can be done through Occupational Therapy, is complete decongestive physiotherapy. This is a non-invasive, painless technique consisting of manual lymph drainage, exercise, compressive therapy and skin care.