About Lymphedema

Lymphedema is defined as a condition in which excess lymph fluid collects, causing swelling in the tissues of the body. Lymph vessels go throughout the body, collecting lymphatic fluid which carries wastes from the body’s cells. The vessels carry the fluid to lymph nodes where the waste products are filtered out of the fluid. The fluid is then returned to the blood. When vessels are damaged or missing (from surgery or other reasons) the lymph fluid can’t move freely through the body and it accumulates, causing swelling and discomfort.

There are two main types of lymphedema—primary and secondary. Primary lymphedema is associated with congenital birth defects or abnormalities of the lymph system. Secondary lymphedema involves the damage, blockage, obstruction or disruption to normal functioning of the lymph system. Some of the causes of secondary lymphedema are:

  • Surgery
  • Lymph node dissection
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Cervical or breast cancer
  • Infection
  • Filariasis (parasitic worms)
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Lymphatic obstruction or trauma
  • Compression or invasion of lymph nodes
  • Combination of breast cancer with radiotherapy

Lymphedema Services

The Lymphedema services provided at the Cheyenne Regional Cancer Center are comprehensive. Services include:

  • Pre-surgical Lymphedema risk assessment
    • Free L-dex assessments are provided pre-treatment and at regular intervals, as recommended by your physician. For more information or to schedule an assessment, please call (307) 633-6175.
  • Edema assessment and management
    • Lymphedema
    • Vascular Diseases
    • Cardiac Edema
    • Wound Healing Promotion
  • Manual lymph drainage
  • Lymphedema compression bandaging
  • Assessment for proper compression garments for all types of edema management
  • Flexi-Touch pneumatic pump
  • Expert exercise prescription for edema management
  • Support group for patients and family
    • Offered the second Monday of the month quarterly, in January, April, July, and October

For more information about any of our lymphedema treatment options please call (307) 633-6175.