The purpose of this literature review is to investigate the most effective forms of self-care that patients can perform to reduce swelling caused by lymphedema. Lymphedema may occur secondary to lymph node trauma, which makes it difficult for lymph fluid to leave an extremity. Even though lymphedema is more recognized as a side effect of breast cancer treatment, it can also be the result of many other ailments or treatments and can be present in any part of the body. By knowing which therapies are most effective, nurses and other health care professionals can educate patients to help ease the burden caused by this debilitating condition. This thesis discusses the results of clinical trials that studied different methods of self-care including exercises, bandaging, compression garments, sequential compression devices, and performing manual lymphatic drainage. The conclusion derived from the review of multiple studies is that participating in a combination of multiple therapies is the most effective means of lymphedema management and should be considered the ideal standard of care.
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Heglund, Stephen D.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
College of Nursing
Dissertations, Academic -- Nursing;Nursing -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Major, Amber, "An investigation of self care modalities for the effective treatment of lymphedema" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1154.