Skip to main content
Update Location

My Location

Update your location to show providers, locations, and services closest to you.

Enter a zip code
Select a campus/region

Lymphedema (cancer-related) therapy

One form of lymphedema is a rare, inherited condition that compromises the body’s lymph system. The second and more common type occurs as a side effect of cancer treatments.

The use of radiation therapy or surgery to remove lymph nodes, though important to your recovery plan, can interfere with the normal drainage of your lymph system. The result is a buildup of lymph fluid in the tissues — usually in the arms or legs — that can cause swelling and discomfort. You are also at greater risk for infection in the affected area.

If your surgery and radiation therapy are planned as part of your cancer treatment, we can help you establish a surveillance and monitoring plan to closely follow your progress.

Lymphedema prevention: Surveillance and monitoring plan

Early detection may reduce your risk of developing lymphedema. With new technologies, we can establish a monitoring plan that will help detect signs of fluid buildup. Specialists at UF Health Oncology in Jacksonville use SOZO bioimpedance spectroscopy, a noninvasive technology to measure and track fluid buildup in at-risk limbs.

  • The test reveals a L-Dex score, or lymphedema index.
  • This L-Dex score is most useful if performed before surgery, one month after, and every three months for one year.
  • The device continues to analyze your L-Dex score to assess for signs of lymphedema.

To learn more about lymphedema prevention monitoring, schedule an appointment with UF Health Rehabilitation.

Lymphedema rehab: Therapy at UF Health Rehabilitation

At UF Health Rehabilitation, our certified lymphedema therapists are an important part of your care team — before, during and after your cancer treatment.

In addition to helping you establish a prevention surveillance and monitoring plan, our specialists will tailor rehabilitation therapies if lymphedema is detected. They will focus on decreasing pain and swelling, improving your ability to move freely and helping you get back to the activities you enjoy.

Here are some options our rehabilitation specialists can discuss with you:

  • Relieving swelling in the arms, legs or other areas of the body with the use of compression sleeves or garments
  • Therapeutic massage to move the fluid away from the affected areas
  • Specific lymphedema exercise plans and strategies to prevent further complications
  • Skincare and hygiene recommendations to prevent infection

Our locations

See all 4 locations

News and Patient Stories: Lymphedema (cancer-related) therapy

More Lymphedema (cancer-related) therapy stories