Lymphedema

What is Lymphedema? Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein rich “lymph” fluid in the tissues under the skin, causing swelling in an arm, leg, neck or any area of the body.

What causes lymphedema?

Lymphedema usually occurs as a result of surgical dissection of lymph nodes for breast, melanoma, prostate or head/neck cancers. Other causes can include radiation therapy, trauma, infections, morbid obesity and venous insufficiency.

How is lymphedema treated?

Our Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLTs) teach patients how to manage their condition with the following:

  • Gentle Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) techniques,
  • Skin care, Compression bandaging,
  • Therapeutic exercises,
  • Proper fitting of compression garments.

Breast Cancer and Lymphedema

Breast cancer related lymphedema, which can cause significant swelling of the involved arm, forearm, and hand, breast, and even the trunk, is mostly caused by damage and trauma to the body's lymphatic system during treatment for cancer and can include limited movement, joint pain, and difficulty performing overhead activities.

Therapists that have had the additional certification for Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy (CDP) are experts in restoring motion and mobility, and not only treat the effects of lymphedema, but also reduce the risk of reoccurrence.

Meet Our Lymphedema Therapist

Jennifer Scanio, PT

Jennifer Scanio,PT

Jennifer graduated from Saint Louis University in 1996 with her degree in Physical Therapy and has 23 years of experience. She has specialized in treatment of lymphedema since 2006 and became a Certified Lymphedema Therapist in 2011. She has experience in various outpatient and inpatient settings and also treats home health patients with Therapy Coverage LLC throughout New Orleans. She is an active member of the Louisiana Physical Therapy Association and American Physical Therapy Association, has participated in American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for 15 years. Jennifer is married to Anthony, a New Orleans native and Chef and has 3 children. She enjoys outdoor activities, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

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