Here is some information on the 18 preventative steps for the lower extremeties. Due to the length of the article, I will post part of it here, and for the remainder, plus the steps for the UPPER extremeties, please go to my website at: www.wikkihealth.com There is a wealth of information regarding Lymphedema and our services there.
Preventive Steps For LOWER Extremities
For the patient who is at risk of developing lymphedema, and for the patient who has developed lymphedema.
WHO IS AT RISK?
At risk is anyone who has had gynecological, melanoma, prostate or kidney cancer in combination with inguinal node dissection and/or radiation therapy. Lymphedema can occur immediately postoperatively, within a few months, a couple of years, or 20 years or more after cancer therapy. With proper education and care, lymphedema can be avoided or, if it develops, kept under control.
Please review the following guidelines carefully and discuss with your physician or therapist.
1. If you notice a rash, itching, redness, pain, increase of temperature or fever, see your physician immediately. An inflammation or infection in the affected leg could be the beginning or a worsening of lymphedema.
2. When traveling by air, patients with lymphedema and those at-risk should wear a well-fitted compression stocking. For those with lymphedema, additional bandages may be required to maintain compression on a long flight. Increase fluid intake while in the air.
3. If there is an increase of swelling in the toes, foot, ankle, leg, abdomen, genitals that does not go away, consult with your doctor immediately.
4. Avoid injections or a blood drawing in the affected leg(s). Consider a LYMPHEDEMA alert Necklace.
5. Keep the edemic or at-risk leg clean and dry. Use lotion (Eucerin, Lymphoderm, Curel, whatever works best for you) after bathing. When drying, be gentle, but thorough. Make sure it is dry in any creases and between the toes.
6. Avoid vigorous, repetitive movements against resistance with the affected legs.
7. Do not wear socks, stockings or undergarments with tight elastic bands.
...for the remaining steps, please go to www.wikkihealth.com