March is Lymphedema Awareness Month and Coliseum Northside Hospital wants to spread awareness about the causes, symptoms and treatment of the disease. Lymphedema is a type of swelling that happens when fluid builds up in your lymph system. It’s a painful condition that typically affects the arms or legs. The World Health Organization estimates that over 250 million people worldwide have lymphedema. Breast cancer treatment is the most common cause of lymphedema in the United States, but it can be caused by other cancer treatment, infections or injury.
Dr. Keith Martin is a local breast surgeon who cares for and treats many breast cancer patients in his practice. Dr. Martin refers patients for lymphedema therapy following extensive surgery for breast cancer. He said, “Lymphedema is an unfortunate side effect from cancer therapy that can cause swelling and pain throughout a patient’s life. It’s important that patients know how to effectively identify and treat lymphedema.”
Coliseum Northside Hospital offers lymphedema therapy with trained therapists who are experts in the area of lymphedema rehabilitation. Therapy includes massage, skin care, bandaging and exercise. Patients are also fitted for special compression garments such as sleeves or socks to reduce fluid build-up.
Sheila Fowler-Davis, OTR/L CLT, a therapist at Coliseum Northside Hospital, said, “We have many patients who come to us for lymphedema therapy. Treatment is effective and usually allows patients to resume daily activities without pain. Unfortunately, many people are living with lymphedema that can cause pain, and they don’t realize that there is treatment to manage it!”
Outpatient rehabilitation services are offered on the campus of Coliseum Northside Hospital (400 Charter Blvd in Macon). For more information, call (478) 757-6160.
About Coliseum Northside Hospital
Coliseum Northside Hospital is a full-service, medical-surgical facility with 103 beds. It is owned by HCA Healthcare (HCA) and is one of two local hospitals in the Coliseum Health System. Coliseum Northside Hospital operates a full-service 24-hour emergency room and offers inpatient and outpatient surgery options, diagnostic services, and an orthopedic and spine center. Additionally Coliseum Northside Hospital offers the Georgia Bariatric Center, an outpatient rehabilitation center, a sleep lab, and a wound healing center. Learn more about Coliseum Northside Hospital at www.coliseumhealthsystem.com.