Lymphedema Program

Lymphedema Program

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of water and proteins in the body’s tissue space. Accumulation of lymphatic fluid can occur in the body compartment such as the arm, leg or trunk.

Primary Lymphedema results from a congenital abnormality in the lymphatic system (often not present until later in life). Secondary Lymphedema results from lymphatic system injury, such as surgery, trauma, radiation, cancer, infection or scarring. Both types can interfere with the flow of lymph fluid.

For more information or to make an appointment, call 216.363.2113.


The symptoms of Lymphedema may vary, but often include:

  • Swelling of the hand, arm, chest/breast, foot/leg, pelvis, groin, abdomen, face or neck
  • A feeling of heaviness or discomfort in the affected areas, loss of mobility and tightness
  • Repeated infections in a limb
  • Thickened skin
  • In severe cases, lymph fluid leaking through the skin

If left untreated, these symptoms can worsen over time and cause unnecessary discomfort and complications.

Managing Lymphedema

Although there is no known cure for Lymphedema, it can be managed. The goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling and facilitate the flow of lymph fluid.

Complete decongestive therapy is a non-invasive form of treatment that yields an optimal result in volume reduction of limbs and control of Lymphedema. It is provided through the following techniques:

  • Daily/weekly visits for evaluation, treatment and measurements by therapists
  • Manual Lymph Draining (MLD)
  • Multi-layer bandaging with short stretch compressive bandages
  • Lymphedema exercises including individualized stretch and strength programs
  • Vaso-pneumatic pumps
  • Compression garments
  • Skin care and self care
  • Follow-up care including patient education

Participating in the Lymphedema Program

To participate in Lutheran Hospital’s Lymphedema Program, patients need a physician’s referral for occupational or physical therapy with a diagnosis of Lymphedema. Patients should also contact their medical insurance company for information pertaining to Lymphedema coverage and outpatient therapy services.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy enables people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health and prevent—or manage—illness, injury or disability. We offer both inpatient and outpatient services as well as other services which may be helpful.

Inpatient Occupational Therapy Services

  • Assessment and treatment of self-care, functional transfers and home management
  • Recommendations for adaptive equipment for toileting, bathing, dressing and feeding
  • Instruction in post-op precautions, non-pharmacologic pain management, body mechanics, breathing and energy consumption
  • Upper extremity rehab (shoulder to hand)
  • Evaluation of living skills
  • Family and/or caregiver instruction
  • Lymphedema program
  • Wheelchair and seating evaluation

For more information about this program, call 216.363.2111.

Outpatient Occupational Therapy Services

  • Upper extremity evaluation (shoulder to hand)
  • Fabrication on custom thermoplastic splints
  • Prefabricated splints
  • Lymphedema program
  • Range of motion
  • Strengthening
  • Joint protection training
  • Wound, scar and edema management
  • Nerve mobilization and desensitization
  • Adaptive equipment and activities of daily living training
  • Body mechanics and ergonomic protection techniques
  • Wheelchair and seating evaluations
Pelvic Floor Pain & Incontinence

Pelvic Floor Pain & Incontinence

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation at Lutheran Hospital includes treatment for men and women with urinary or fecal incontinence, urgency/frequency of urination, and/or pain in the pelvic region. Our physical therapists are specially trained to rehabilitate the pelvic floor muscles and evaluate each individual and to develop a care plan.

Who is Pelvic Floor Pain & Incontinence Rehabilitation for?

Many people, regardless of gender, experience pain or incontinence of urine or stool during their lifetime. Some women develop increased tension in pelvic floor muscles causing pain, vaginal pain with intercourse, tampon use or annual OB/GYN check-ups, and incontinence of urine or feces. Many men have problems with chronic genital or groin pain, frequent urination, and burning with urination. 

What does Pelvic Floor Pain & Incontinence Rehabilitation Involve?

  • Flexibility and strength assessment
  • Pelvic floor muscle surface EMG (or biofeedback)
  • Pelvic area internal and external muscle assessment and treatment
  • Postural exercises
  • Myofascial release
  • Relaxation techniques and diaphragmatic breathing
  • Development of an individualized home exercise program

How long will Pelvic Pain & Incontinence Rehabilitation take?

The plan of care is developed specifically to the individual’s needs and goals defined by the patient and evaluating therapist.

What type of outcome should I expect from this type of rehabilitation?

While therapy results will vary on each person's condition, expected outcomes from pelvic pain rehabilitation may include:

  • Decreased pain
  • Improved urination control
  • Improved control of bowels

For more information or to make an appointment, call 216.363.2113.



Physical Therapy

The primary focuses of Physical Therapy are to:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Prevent the onset and progression of impairment, functional limitations, disability or changes in physical function
  • Restore, maintain and promote overall fitness and optimal quality of life

Lutheran Hospital’s Physical Therapy program offers both inpatient and outpatient services as well as other services which may be helpful.

For more information or to make an appointment, call:

Inpatient Services 216.363.2114
Outpatient Services 216.363.2288

Speech Therapy

Lutheran Hospital’s Speech Therapy program treats adults and pediatric patients with impairments, including:

  • Speech and language disorders
  • Cognitive and communication disorders
  • Swallowing
  • Vocal quality
  • Developmental delays
  • Post-laryngectomy

A prescription from a physician is necessary for a speech therapy evaluation.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 216.363.2114.