Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
San Diego Lymphedema Therapy
Helping you prevent and treat lymphedema.
At Sharp, we understand the challenges and difficulties patients with lymphedema face on a daily basis. Our team of certified lymphedema therapists will work with you and your medical team to create a personalized plan to help you take the next steps in your healing.
Lymphedema conditions we treat.
Although there is no cure for lymphedema, there are many treatments that can restore some movement and reduce pain and swelling. The chance of improving the condition is better if treatment begins early.
- Chronic leg swelling (caused by heart or vascular problems)
- Chronic swelling after trauma
- Connective tissue disorders
- Obesity-related swelling
- Primary or genetic lymphatic conditions
Lymphedema therapy program objectives.
Our lymphedema therapists provide compassionate and comprehensive care to help manage and treat your lymphedema.
- Decrease hardening of tissues
- Decrease pain
- Decrease swelling
- Educate the community
- Help heal wounds and scars
- Improve mobility
- Increase function and comfort
- Patient education
- Prevent infections
- Promote independence in lymphedema self-care
- Provide lymphedema community support
Lymphedema Education Class
This class focuses on the importance of early intervention, the identification of early signs of lymphedema and treatment options.
Frequently asked questions about lymphedema.
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is part of your immune system. It is a network of organs, vessels and lymph nodes that carry nutrient-rich fluid, called lymph, throughout the body. This system is responsible for filtering out bacteria and other harmful substances, keeping fluid levels in balance, transporting fats and proteins from the digestive system and removing cellular waste products from your body.
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is chronic swelling caused by a disruption to your body's lymphatic system — a network of tiny tubes and lymph nodes that carry nutrient-rich fluid, called lymph, throughout the body, filtering bacteria and waste. Lymphedema develops when:
- Lymphatic vessels are damaged
- Lymph nodes are surgically removed (often due to cancer treatment)
- Lymphatic vessels are impaired or missing
Lymphedema can cause pain, restrict movement, lead to a serious infection and lessen your quality of life.
Who is at risk for lymphedema?
Lymphedema can be a risk for cancer patients who have had surgery, including sentinel lymph node biopsy or any lymph node removal, or radiation treatment for cancer. It can be most common in patients who have:
- Breast cancer
- Head and neck cancers
- Pelvic area cancers, such as bladder, penile, prostate, testicular, endometrial, vulvar, or cervical cancer
What is the connection between cancer treatment and lymphedema?
When lymph nodes are removed during surgery or treated with radiation, damage occurs — making it harder for the lymphatic system to remove or clean fluid. As the fluid backs up, swelling and inflammation occur.
We are here to help you prevent this condition and to provide proper treatment when necessary.
What are the signs and symptoms of lymphedema?
If you have any concerns or experience any lymphedema symptoms, please contact your doctor to request a referral to a certified lymphedema therapist.
If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you may be a candidate for lymphedema treatment:
- Have you had surgery or radiation for cancer of the breast, head and neck, cervix, uterus, prostate or skin?
- Do you have swelling of the hand, arm, armpit, chest, breast, shoulder blade region, abdomen, foot, leg, pelvis, groin, genitals, and/or face or neck?
- Does one arm or leg seem larger than the other limb?
- Did a recent airplane flight cause swelling or tightness in your arm or leg that did not resolve in a few hours after landing?
- Do you have a body part that feels heavy or full?
- Does your clothing feel tight on one side or in one area?
- Are your shoes suddenly too tight?
- Does your jewelry suddenly not fit right without overall weight gain?
- Do you have tightness in the armpit or chest wall?
- Do you have tightness in the groin, pelvis, abdominal wall, neck and face?
- Does your face, neck feel tight and hard?
- Are your legs abnormally large and the skin on your legs reddish brown? Do you notice unusual skin growths on your legs or do they dent when you press on them?
- Do you have a tingling or aching sensation in a limb?
- Do you feel like you have a cord or rope extending from your armpit to your elbow/wrist?
- Are you leaking a yellowish/clear fluid from swollen legs?
- Have you had multiple skin/tissue infections?
We’re here to help.
Our lymphedema rehabilitation services are available throughout our Sharp system. We accept all major health insurances, including Medicare, and we can help you determine your coverage and resource needs. For more information about our program or how to make a referral, please contact one of our convenient locations throughout San Diego.
Sharp Allison deRose Rehabilitation Center Lymphedema Program
Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Lymphedema Therapy
Sharp Grossmont Hospital Lymphedema Therapy
Sharp Rees-Stealy Chula Vista Lymphedema Program
Sharp Rees-Stealy Murphy Canyon Lymphedema Program
Sharp Rees-Stealy Santee Lymphedema Program
Lymphedema Education and Awareness Class for Increased Risk Patients
Learn about the signs and treatment options for lymphedema at this free online course.
We'll help find the doctor who's right for you.
View doctors in San Diego.
Dr. Reema Batra
"My goal is to provide positive experiences in order for my patients to get as healthy as possible, as soon as possible."
Dr. Uladzislau Naidzionak
"Dedication and friendliness are essential in delivering superior patient care."
Dr. Marilyn S. Norton
"My goal is to have my patients feel the warmth of my true concern for their health."
Dr. Sunanda Pejavar
"I am dedicated to providing exceptional, compassionate cancer care and being an advocate for my patients."