Lymphedema Therapy in Melrose & Starke, Fl.
Lymphedema is a protein-rich swelling that results from a mechanical insufficiency of the lymphatic system. It is a lifelong, chronic disease for which complete decongestive therapy is the gold standard of treatment. Lymphedema can be due to a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system, which we refer to as primary lymphedema. Secondary lymphedema results after a known insult to the lymphatic system, such as surgery, trauma, radiation, cancer, or infection. The highest incidence of lymphedema in the US is following breast cancer surgery. Other causes include cancer treatments, chronic venous insufficiency, obesity, and lipedema.
Complete decongestive therapy consists of skin care, manual lymph drainage, compression bandaging, and decongestive exercises. During the initial phase, the patient will see their certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) on a daily basis. Following discharge, the patient continues a lifelong, self-management phase.
During the initial evaluation, the patient will be given an in-depth interview with their CLT discussing their condition and past medical history. Measurements will be taken, and the patient will be educated about lymphedema and what to expect. On subsequent visits, each session will consist of skin care, manual lymph drainage, compression bandaging, and decongestive exercises. This treatment will be completed daily until maximum decongestion or a plateau is reached. Following this, the therapist will develop a home treatment plan and help the patient choose the best compression garments for daily wear.
Farrah Starling is a 2020 graduate of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She has prior experience working in acute care and inpatient rehabilitation with a variety of cardiac, vascular, and neurological diagnoses. She is a certified lymphedema therapist and provides lymphedema treatment here at Lake Area Physical Therapy and Aquatics. She also treats upper extremity injuries and conducts functional capacity evaluations. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors and traveling with her husband and family.