Lymphedema Management

Hartford HealthCare is recognized by the Lymphatic Education & Research Network as one of four Centers of Excellence for Conservative Care in the world.

This designation is awarded to institutions like Hartford HealthCare whose program and team of therapists excel in knowledge and experience with lymphedema, providing outstanding quality care to patients with lymphedema. We look forward to partnering with you to manage your lymphedema.

Lymphatic Care Center of Excellence


What is Lymphedema?

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that transports lymph, a protein-rich fluid, back to the blood. Lymphedema is a chronic swelling, due to an accumulation of this lymph fluid in the soft tissue. The buildup of stagnant fluid causes inflammation of the tissue, a mild to severe increase in limb girth, a decrease in tissue healing ability, and a high susceptibility to infections or cellulitis in the affected limb.

Diagram: The Lymphatic System

Lymphedema most often occurs in the arm or leg, but can also occur in the face, neck,
abdomen, or genitals. Primary lymphedema is the result of missing or impaired lymphatic vessels; symptoms may develop at birth or later in life. Secondary lymphedema, a much more common type, is a result of lymph vessel damage or lymph node removal during surgery or radiation therapy. It may also occur after injury, scarring, trauma, or infection of the lymphatic system.


What causes lymphedema?

Lymphedema is caused when there is damage or blockage of the lymphatic system. This blockage can be caused by infection, cancer, scar tissue from radiation therapy, trauma or surgery, or surgical removal of the lymph nodes. Obesity, lack of movement, and venous disease are also common causes of lymphedema. Lymphedema occurs when the lymph vessels are no longer able to carry all of the lymph fluid out of the affected body part and the fluid builds up in the tissue, causing swelling and inflammation.


What are symptoms of lymphedema?

  • Swelling
  • Skin tightness
  • Aching or discomfort
  • Feeling of heaviness, fullness or fatigue in the impacted body part
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Hardening or thickening of the skin

A Comprehensive Lymphedema Treatment Program

Lymphedema Therapy Guide
Download the Lymphedema Therapy Treatment Care Packet for patients
English | Spanish

Evaluation

Evaluation by a therapist includes:

  • Complete medical history
  • Sensory evaluation & pain assessment
  • Range of motion and muscle testing
  • Girth measurements
  • Daily living and work requirements

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)

This manual technique reroutes lymph around blocked or damaged lymph nodes. The technique also reduces the susceptibility for infection, softens tissue, reduces edema,
and improves the appearance and functional use of the extremity.

Compression Bandaging

Short stretch bandages are used to prevent the re-accumulation of evacuated lymph fluid and to break up deposits of accumulated scar and connective tissue. During the active phase of treatment, the bandages stay in place until the next MLD session begins. During the maintenance phase of therapy, the client is encouraged to wear the bandages while sleeping.

HHCRN: Lymphedema Management Image

Exercise, Skin Care, and Infection Prevention

Clients may be taught a series of low exertion exercises and diaphragmatic breathing to
stimulate lymphatic return. Training on skin care, infection recognition and response is
also included.

Home Maintenance Instruction

Clients are instructed in self-bandaging, daily use of compression garments, and exercise for the maintenance phase of therapy. Clients are assisted in the purchase, care, and replacement of an appropriate compression garment. Regular follow up visits are scheduled to assess progress and to initiate compression garment replacement.

Lymphedema Management Locations

2 Northwestern Drive
Bloomfield, CT 06002
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Balance & Falls
Concussion
Female Incontinence
Female Pelvic Pain
Hand Therapy
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Male Incontinence
Male Pelvic Pain
Pelvic Health
Physical Therapy
Sports Medicine
Vestibular Rehabilitation
111 Salem Turnpike
Norwich, CT 06360
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Balance & Falls
Cancer Rehabilitation
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Lymphedema Therapy
Multi-Disciplinary (PT, OT, ST)
Neuro Conditions
Occupational Therapy
Pain Management
Pelvic Health
Physiatry
Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy (adult)
Sports Medicine
Surgical Weight Loss Rehab
Swallowing Evaluation
5 Dayton Road Suite 101
Waterford, CT 06385
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Concussion
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Physiatry
Physical Therapy
Sports Medicine
Surgical Weight Loss Rehab
Vestibular Rehabilitation
406 Farmington Avenue 2nd Floor
Farmington, CT 06032
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Concussion
Female Pelvic Pain
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Pain Management
Pelvic Health
Physical Therapy
Sports Medicine
Surgical Weight Loss Rehab
Vestibular Rehabilitation
1559 Sullivan Avenue
South Windsor, CT 06074
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Dry Needling
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
Pilates-Based Rehab
Sports Medicine
Surgical Weight Loss Rehab
Vestibular Rehabilitation
701 North Colony Road Suite 102
Wallingford, CT 06492
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Concussion
Female Incontinence
Female Pelvic Pain
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Pelvic Health
Physical Therapy
Surgical Weight Loss Rehab
Vestibular Rehabilitation
1064 East Main Street
Meriden, CT 06450
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Concussion
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Multi-Disciplinary (PT, OT, ST)
Neuro Conditions
Occupational Therapy
Pain Management
Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy (adult)
Swallowing Evaluation
Thoracic Rehabilitation
Vestibular Rehabilitation
Bishop's Corner
334 North Main Street
West Hartford, CT 06117
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Concussion
Female Incontinence
Female Pelvic Pain
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Multi-Disciplinary (PT, OT, ST)
Neuro Conditions
Occupational Therapy
Pelvic Health
Physical Therapy
Pilates-Based Rehab
Prosthetic Training
Speech Therapy (adult)
Sports Medicine
Swallowing Evaluation
Vestibular Rehabilitation
The Hospital of Central Connecticut
183 North Mountain Road
New Britain, CT 06053
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Dry Needling
Female Pelvic Pain
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Male Incontinence
Male Pelvic Pain
Neuro Conditions
Pelvic Health
Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy (adult)
The Hospital of Central Connecticut (New Britain General Campus)
100 Grand Street
New Britain, CT 06050
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Complex Spine
Dry Needling
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Pain Management
Physiatry
Physical Therapy
Surgical Weight Loss Rehab
Thoracic Rehabilitation
Vestibular Rehabilitation
Jefferson House
1 John H. Stewart Drive
Newington, CT 06111
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Balance & Falls
Lymphedema Therapy
Multi-Disciplinary (PT, OT, ST)
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy (adult)
Sky Top
1012 East Main Street
Torrington, CT 06790
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Complex Spine
Concussion
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Lymphedema Therapy
Multi-Disciplinary (PT, OT, ST)
Neuro Conditions
Occupational Therapy
Pain Management
Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy (adult)
Swallowing Evaluation
Vestibular Rehabilitation
Jerome Home
975 Corbin Avenue
New Britain, CT 06052
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Balance & Falls
Lymphedema Therapy
Multi-Disciplinary (PT, OT, ST)
Occupational Therapy
Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy (adult)
80 South Main Street Suite LL02
Winsted, CT 06098
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Concussion
Female Pelvic Pain
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Male Pelvic Pain
Neuro Conditions
Occupational Therapy
Pelvic Health
Physical Therapy
Vestibular Rehabilitation
3272 Main Street 2nd floor
Stratford, CT 06614
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Services Offered Here
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Balance & Falls
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Cancer Rehabilitation
Complex Spine
Concussion
Dry Needling
Female Incontinence
Female Pelvic Pain
Hand Therapy
Head & Neck Cancer Rehabilitation
Headache Management
Lymphedema Therapy
Male Incontinence
Male Pelvic Pain
Multi-Disciplinary (PT, OT, ST)
Neuro Conditions
Occupational Therapy
Pain Management
Physical Therapy
Speech Therapy (adult)
Sports Medicine
Thoracic Rehabilitation
Vestibular Rehabilitation

Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network