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Lymphedema & Breast Surgery Program

Most people associate lymphedema, an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the tissues of the body, with breast cancer surgery. But both men and women can experience lymphedema with cancer and related treatments, congestive heart failure, severe injury, venous insufficiency or a congenital anomaly.

The damage to the lymphatic system associated with lymphedema can cause swelling in your arms, legs, torso, genitals, head and/or neck. WakeMed therapists are trained in and provide the Dr. Vodder method of Manual Lymph drainage, which is the international gold standard therapeutic treatment for lymphedema. Treatment includes in-office therapy combined with a home maintenance program that, when done appropriately and consistently, can provide a lifetime of relief. is treated through a process called Complete Decongestive Therapy which includes a lymphatic massage, compression bandaging, range of motion exercises, monitoring of skin care, instruction on lymphedema management and referral to a vendor to obtain the appropriate compression garments or devices as needed. Also, aquatic therapy is available as indicated.

WakeMed offers a continuum of specialized lymphedema and post breast surgery rehabilitation aimed to reduce complications and improve function.

Breast Surgery Program

Our breast surgery rehab program is initiated after breast surgery with an emphasis on patient education. This includes wound care, instruction on range of motion, edema management, and guidelines for activity tolerance. Instruction on lymphedema prevention is initiated and, if lymphedema is present, treatment begun.

If a compression garment, mastectomy bra, prosthesis or other post breast surgery supplies are required, the patient is referred to the appropriate vendor. If further treatment is required, the patient is referred to one of our outpatient clinics.

Lymphedema Therapists

WakeMed’s certified lymphedema therapists have between 132 and 160 hours of comprehensive education on lymphedema management and have extensive experience in treating both men and women.

Learn About What to Expect from Lymphedema Therapy

Outpatient Lymphedema Therapy Location

A physician referral is required to receive outpatient services for lymphedema.

Once the referral has been made, an evaluation is scheduled. The number to call for an evaluation is 919-350-8550. When the evaluation is completed, the therapist and patient will determine the duration and frequency of treatment.

Our Locations