Once you realize you have lymphedema, you most likely will do a lot of research related to lymphedema causes, symptoms and treatments; however, it can be difficult to find accurate, trustworthy information online. We have compiled a short list of common questions with answers below. We highly recommend, however, that you discuss your questions and concerns about your condition and lymphedema treatment options with one of our providers.
Do Any Over-The-Counter Lymphedema Products Really Work?
There are many products, such as topical oils and vitamins, that claim to treat lymphedema. Approach all products with great care and discuss any commercial products with your lymphedema therapist and physician prior to use.
Essential Oils for Lymphedema: Some people claim that aromatherapy with genuine (not synthetic) essential oils can provide relief. However, there is no scientific data to support aromatherapy as a lymphedema treatment. If you would like to use essential oils for lymphedema massage instead of other oils or lotions, this is likely safe. Be sure to follow instructions on the bottle, such as diluting the oil prior to applying it to your skin. If you notice any skin irritation, stop use immediately.
Vitamins and Herbs for Lymphedema: Supplement companies market herbal remedies and vitamins that claim to treat lymphedema. Butcher’s Broom, Diosmin, and Hesperidin are all marketed as lymphedema treatment remedies. However, there is insufficient evidence supporting their claims. While it may seem harmless to take natural supplements “just in case,” note that negative interactions between medications and supplements can occur. If you are considering any new supplements, discuss them with a physician and your pharmacists to make sure they’re safe for you.
Will You Help Me Pinpoint Causes And Signs Of Lymphedema Flares To Control Recurrent Swelling?
Yes. Part of our evaluation and ongoing treatments is to help you determine what causes your flare ups so you can avoid and control them. We will also provide you with a list of recommended lifestyle changes to reduce symptoms.
Is Lymphedema Surgery An Option?
There are surgical options for patients who haven’t responded well to non-invasive lymphedema treatment. These intricate micro-surgeries are reserved for advanced cases. There are two options for lymphedema surgery:
- Vascularized lymph node transfer surgery, which involves transferring working lymph nodes from another part of the body to the area affected by advanced lymphedema.
- Lymphaticovenular bypass surgery, which involves implanting a shunt to redirect fluid from the affected area to other areas of the body.
- Debulking procedures, which involves microsurgery to resect symptomatic lymphedema nodules that cannot be controlled with conservative care.
We do not offer these treatments at Vein Specialists of the South; however, Dr. Harper’s network of lymphedema specialists extends worldwide and includes some of the most prominent practitioners in the world. We can assist you with a referral should we mutually determine that lymphedema surgery may be right for you.
What Can I Do At Home To Supplement My In-Office Lymphedema Treatment?
We will provide you with a list of recommended lifestyle changes to help you improve your condition. This list may include:
- recommended exercises
- compression therapy
- diet changes
We can recommend at-home lymphatic compression pumps and compression wraps that you can purchase. In some cases, insurance may cover these expenses and provide you with immense relief in between appointments.
Schedule An Evaluation For Lymphedema Treatment In Central Georgia
If you have been diagnosed with lymphedema or if you have unexplained leg swelling, pain, heaviness, or other suspicious leg symptoms, contact Vein Specialists of the South. Our Central Georgia lymphedema therapists and vein specialists will provide you with an extensive evaluation to determine what is causing your condition and the best approach to your care.
Don’t live with the pain and discomfort of lymphedema and venous disease. Call Vein Specialists of the South today at (478) 845-2025 to begin your journey toward better legs and Better Veins for Life®.