Lymphedema Therapy

Lymphedema treatment to patient's wrist

Lymphedema is an accumulation of fluid in a region of the body when the lymphatic system is compromised and unable to manage the flow of lymphatic fluid that can affect people of all ages for a variety of reasons. The fluid causes swelling and discomfort. While there are many unanswered questions about lymphedema, there is a great deal that can be done to treat it.

Our therapists use an interdisciplinary approach to lymphedema treatment, with ongoing communication between therapist, patient and physician. The primary goals of therapy include reduction of swelling, patient education, exercise and improved quality of life.

Lymphedema Management

While there is no cure for lymphedema, it can be successfully treated and managed through a complete decongestive therapy program. An individualized treatment approach is developed based on the physician’s prescription, a thorough evaluation, and discussion with you about your goals and needs. Treatment includes some combination of:

  • Manual lymph drainage: Gentle rhythmic massage to promote the flow of lymph fluid and empty fluid-filled areas .
  • Compression therapy: Application of layers of low-stretch bandages to help minimize swelling by providing resistance against the skin and muscles underneath.
  • Decongestive exercises: You will be taught specific flexibility, strengthening, posture, breathing and aerobic exercises designed to improve lymphatic flow and help control lymphedema.
  • Skin and nail care: Since infections can be a serious complication of lymphedema, you will be instructed in meticulous hygiene to eliminate bacterial and fungal growth to reduce the chance of infection.
  • Home management: Many lifestyle modifications can impact lymphatic potential, and your needs and questions will be addressed. Throughout the rehabilitation program, whether you need to be seen once or for ongoing treatments, we will be educating you so that you have the knowledge and skills to manage your particular needs independently.

Since 2020, the lymphedema program at Sibley Memorial Hospital has offered state-of-the-art body composition analysis to monitor and track changes in edema for our physical and occupational therapy patients recovering from cancer treatments. In addition, this system can track changes in body fat, muscle mass and basal metabolic rate.

Schedule An Appointment

Schedule by phone

Maryland clinics except Bayview: 443-997-5476
Johns Hopkins Bayview: 410-550-0414
Sibley Memorial Hospital: 202-364-7665

Schedule online through MyChart

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Meet Our Therapists

Holly Brook-Cotton | Physical Therapist Assistant

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: lymphedema, oncology, pelvic health
Location: Odenton

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Opalyn DeVera | Physical Therapist

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: lymphedema, oncology
Location: Lutherville

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Susanne Faux | Physical Therapist

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, falls/balance, lymphedema
Location: Columbia

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Laurie Fitz | Physical Therapist, Clinical Resource Analyst

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, lymphedema, oncology deconditioning
Location: Baltimore

headshot of Laurie Fitz

Christina Garcia | Physical Therapist

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: lymphedema
Location: Baltimore

photo coming soon

Dawn Kutcher | Occupational Therapist

Certifications: Board-Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, hand therapy, lymphedema, orthopedics - upper extremity, orthotic fabrication
Location: White Marsh

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Kathy McGinty | Physical Therapist Assistant

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, lymphedema, oncology, oncology deconditioning
Location: Lutherville

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Amanda McQueen | Physical Therapist, Rehab Therapy Manager

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, lymphedema, oncology deconditioning, orthopedics
Locations: Columbia and Odenton

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Kimberly Middleton | Physical Therapist, Team Coordinator

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, lymphedema, oncology
Location: Columbia

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Jennifer Nicholas | Occupational Therapist, Team Coordinator

Certifications: Board-Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, hand therapy, lymphedema, oncology, orthopedics - upper extremity, orthotic fabrication
Location: Lutherville

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Rachel Pigott | Occupational Therapist

Certifications: Board-Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: breast cancer, hand therapy, lymphedema, oncology, orthopedics - upper extremity, orthosis fabrication
Location: Lutherville and White Marsh

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Heather Prender | Physical Therapist

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Certified Oncology Rehabilitation Specialist
Expertise: breast cancer, lymphedema, oncology deconditioning
Location: Lutherville

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Jyo Supnekar | Occupational Therapist, Clinical Specialist, JHH Hand Therapy Fellowship Director

Certifications: Board-Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, certified in neurodevelopmental treatment for stroke
Expertise: breast cancer, hand therapy, lymphedema, neurologic rehabilitation, oncology, orthopedics - upper extremity, orthotic fabrication
Location: White Marsh

headshot of Jyo Supnekar

Nicole Tannahill | Physical Therapist

Certifications: Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Expertise: lymphedema, oncology, orthopedics, total joint rehabilitation
Location: Odenton

headshot of Nicole Tannahill

Find a Therapist in Washington, D.C.

The Sibley Center for Rehabilitation Medicine offers outpatient and inpatient therapy services. Our experts use the latest rehabilitation tools and practice patient-centered care to help you achieve the best outcomes.