Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 5

Perometer technology, housed at
Community Hospital since 2014, is a
digital scanner that measures the size
and volume of a patient's extremity.
With it, patients like Parker get a clear
view of the lymphedema's progress
within a matter of minutes, offering
more time for therapy and consultation.
"It's a great tool in therapy, research
and prevention," Pawlicki explains.
"It's very accurate and can be used to
proactively treat lymphedema in its
early stages."
Immediate treatment can reverse
the progression of lymphedema.
Whether using automatic measurements at Community Hospital or manual
measurements at St. Catherine Hospital
and St. Mary Medical Center, treatment
therapies and goals are the same for
all patients.
"Mobility is important to all our
patients, and we help them get there,"
says Michelle Kaim, PT, CWS, CLT,
a certified lymphedema therapist at
St. Catherine Hospital. "We are proactively involved, so those who are
dealing with chronic swelling get the
education they need about hydration,
proper exercise, compression wraps
and self-managed therapy."
Lymphedema specialists at
Community Healthcare System outpatient settings help patients adopt
home management techniques that
may include:
* Exercises: The affected limb is
moved to encourage lymph fluid drainage and help prepare for everyday tasks.
* Wrapping: The entire limb is bandaged to help lymph fluid flow back to
the body.
* Massage: A special massage
technique, manual lymph drainage, is
taught to relieve fluid accumulation.
* Pneumatic compression: An
inflated sleeve worn over the affected
arm or leg places pressure on the limb
and moves lymph fluid away from
fingers or toes.

Physical therapist Mary Pawlicki is able
to get a quick and accurate read of Diane
Parker's lymphedema treatment progress
using technology called a perometer.

* Compression

garments: Long
fitted sleeves or stockings compress
the arm or leg and encourage flow of
lymph fluid out of the affected limb.
* Complete decongestive therapy
(CDT): Combines therapies with
lifestyle changes. CDT may not be
for those with high blood pressure,
paralysis, heart failure, acute infections, active blood clot or other
chronic health issues.
Without treatment, lymphedema
can create swelling that becomes so
significant it is difficult to walk or
raise an arm. It may cause pain or a
lingering numbness that bogs one
down or worsens with heavy lifting or
repetitive gestures.
At St. Mary Medical Center, where
the Lymphedema Support Group meets
quarterly, Darcie Gresham, OTR, CLT,
says patients learn coping techniques
and find out they are not alone.
For some, the unintended consequence of surgery or radiation therapy
can be more daunting than dealing
with cancer itself.
The free support group helps
patients urge one another on. Special
lymphedema sessions also are held at
the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster

and at women's health events across
the region.
Throughout the process, therapy
and counseling is individualized.
"We get a picture of what's going
on relative to what medically might be
contributing to the lymphedema, then
branch out into what their lifestyle is
like," Gresham explains. "We listen to
their goals and frustrations. We work
together to build up to what they want
to continue to do in their life." ■

WEBSITE

Help for
Lymphedema
To learn more about
lymphedema treatment and
classes offered through
Community Healthcare System,
visit www.comhs.org/
services/therapy-services/
outpatient-therapy-services/
lymphedema.

FAL L 20 17

5


http://www.comhs.org/services/therapy-services/outpatient-therapy-services/lymphedema http://www.comhs.org/services/therapy-services/outpatient-therapy-services/lymphedema http://www.comhs.org/services/therapy-services/outpatient-therapy-services/lymphedema

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 3
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 4
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - 5
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2017 - Community Healthcare - Cover3
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