Lymphedema Therapy Program

Lymphedema is an excessive swelling that generally occurs in the arms or legs. Lymphedema is sometimes the side effect of cancer conditions, surgeries or treatments, such as lymph node dissection or radiation therapy. It is also associated with venous disorders, such as chronic venous stasis. Lymphedema is a chronic condition that left untreated progresses and contributes to skin infections, hardening of skin tissue, impaired mobility and difficulty participating in daily activities.

To contact the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, please call 202-715-5655.

The lymphedema program at GW Hospital offers comprehensive treatment for lymphedema and we provide individualized care using research-based treatments. Our certified lymphedema therapists have the advanced training needed to treat lymphedema occurring in all areas of the body. Our goal is to provide our patients with the necessary skills to achieve independence in managing all aspects of their lymphedema.

Complete Decongestive Therapy

The lymphedema therapists at GW Hospital use complete decongestive therapy to help reduce swelling, restore mobility, prevent infection and improve quality of life.

Therapy includes: 

  • Skin care and infection prevention education
  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Short stretch compression bandaging
  • Kinesio taping
  • PhysioTouch
  • Self-massage and bandaging education
  • Remedial exercises as part of a home exercise program

Throughout treatment, therapists give referring physicians regular patient status updates. The length of rehabilitation varies depending on factors such as:

  • Stage of disease
  • Tissue texture of skin
  • Patient compliance and response to treatment
  • Conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and infection

Oncology Rehabilitation

At GW Hospital, we help cancer survivors heal through rehabilitation.

Learn More about Oncology Rehabilitation