Articles on Lymphedema

2/07 We just posted the CPT codes for insurance reimbursement of lymphedema - see CPT article below.

6/05 The recent Medicare Policy Change, (where LMTs are not able to bill Medicare for the treatment of LE patients) was not instigated by the APTA, but was actually CMS driven due to some fraudulent billing practices, according to Dr. Fife and Bill Schuh.

For a summary update of the CMS Policy go to

eLymphNotes, The First Online Magazine on Lymphedema at

2/04 Compression sleeves are not covered by Medicare. The physical therapy aspect of comprehensive decongestive treatment is covered, but supplies are not.

Source: Hem-Onc Today, from an article by By Tammy Dotts Staff Writer

As many of us know from personal experience, this swelling is rarely diagnosed in a timely manner. Very few surgeons are willing to talk about it.

Often we are not told about the possibilities of developing this chronic swelling problem prior to axillary dissection.

How many of us realize that the slow and difficult recovery, working our arm above our head, flexing our hand, etc. is related to the lymph node surgery and NOT our breast surgery.

11/02 A recent study found that 70% of National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers offer "services pertaining to lymphedema management".

Find out more here.

National Lymphedema Network

Advice and information, primary/secondary lymphedema, a link

Lymphedema Treatment Act Organization

LINK: "H.R. 4662, the Lymphedema Diagnosis & Treatment Cost Saving Act of 2010 introduced by Congressman Larry Kissell, would offer coverage for Medicare beneficiaries with lymphedema from any cause. It would provide the medically recommended protocols (compression bandages, garments and supplies used daily in the treatment & management of lymphedema) & reduce the incidence of lymphedema-related infection. Although this legislation relates specifically to a change in Medicare law, it would also have the almost certain effect of ensuring all private insurance policies follow suit.

This is a very significant piece of legislation for anyone who has lymphedema or is at increased risk for acquiring lymphedema. We have no paid lobbyists & this is an entirely grass roots, patient driven cause".

Useful tips and information

self-massage, MLD, sleeves etc.

Some exercises you can do
What Cory Howard Did
Alicethenics:Exercises to Increase Freedom of Movement
Inflatable Plastic Wedge
Yoga for Lymphedema
Belt for DogWalking
Lymphedema in GYN & Prostate malignancies

Occurs after surgery and radiation therapy for many cancers.

Lower Limb Lymphedema
Inflatable Plastic Wedge
Bandages, Sleeves, Stockings, Etc.
LE Treatments Underutilized
A Book

Coping With Lymphedema

Greater Boston Lymphedema Network

A Boston-based support/education group, (781)894-2309

Bosom Buddies of Naples, Florida

A Florida-based support/education group


Useful for musculoskeletal problems lymphedema and more

Overview of Osteopathy-Part I
Bandaging vs. Sleeves (including links)

A study from the UK February 2000 one of very few

Bandages, Sleeves, Stockings, Etc.
Compression Bandaging: Controlled Trial
Lymphedma Online Support Group

Information and the website address

ACS Brochure Now Available

(8000)ACS-2345 for Lymphedema brochure

Swedish Doctor Uses Liposuction

Presentation to the National Lympedema Network, 9/00

From: Reducing Surgical Trauma to the Axilla-Lymphedema Information
Patients Recognize Lymphedema Sooner

9/00 Study presented at National Lymphedema Network annual meeting

Prevalance of Self-Reported LE: Australia
Information Update-Surgical

10/00 Surgical overview indicates location of nodes important

Postinjection Massage & SNLB
Injection Site Critical For SNB
Microsurgical Lymph Node Transplantation
Various Studies on Lymphedema

Sources vary

Arm Edema in Breast Cancer Patients
Shoulder and Arm Problems after Radiation
Lymphedem Research FUNDS available 2006
Strategies for Management
Validation of QOL Scale to Access Impact of LE in Bca Pts
Prognostic Factors for LE
Early & Late Development of LE & Axillary Levels I-III
LE in Bca Survivors 20 Yrs Later
Treatments compared
Random Sample of Pts Assessed
LE & QOL in Early Stage Bca
SNB vs Axillary Dissection:Reduced LE
Variation in Lymphatic Function May Predispose for LE
Lymphedema After Complete Node Dissection: Melanoma
Hyperbaric Oxygen & Arm Lymphedema
An Arm and A Leg

U.K.-based treatment for lymphedema

Ann Fonfa's eLetter to Canadian Medical Journal

Posted January 29,2001

Prognostic Factors for LE

Cancer Online, 10/01

Exposure to Flying and LE

The Breast, 2/02


The Breast, 7/02

Upper-Body Exercise Good
Resistance Training:LE Symptoms/Recent Bca Survivors
Breast Cancer.Org

LINK to their section on Lymphedema

Millimeters/Centimenters to Measure

Breast Cancer Res & Treatment, 9/02

Advice on Communicating w/Insurance Company

Handout at 2002 NLN Meeting

Sample of Patient's Appeal Letter
Laser To Reduce Swelling of Lymphedema

Cancer, 9/03

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy & Lymphedema

Radiotherapy & Oncology, 3/04

Hyberbaric Chamber for Lymphedema: UK Research
Vodder School for Lymph Massage

LINK for resources

Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy


Compression Vests

Information with links

The Lymphoedema Association of Australia

LINK to information and more

Chinese Herbs for Lymphedema

LINK to info on TCM and more

Lymphatic Research Foundation

LINK to group in NY funding research

CPT for Lymphedema - insurance reimbursement codes

Our source:

An Oncology Massage Professional on Risk of Lymphedema

Article by Toni Muirhead

Lymhedema Caregiver's Guide

LINK:by Mary Kathleen Kearse, PT, CLT-LANA, Elizabeth McMahon, PhD, Ann Ehrlich, MA "provide(s) detailed instructions for caregivers on all aspects of lymphedema home care including physical care (skin care, simple lymph drainage, compression, exercise, etc.), communications skills and emotional support, and activities of daily living".

American Breast Care

LINK: they make breast prothesis, but also post-surgical bras that can be used for chest/back lymphedema especially good while flying on airlines

Lymphedema in Head/Neck Cancer Issues

MHNCS, 2010

Breast Massage Video - Daya Fisch

Daya Fisch runs Breast Health Project

Remember we are NOT Doctors and have NO medical training.

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