The Siskin Hospital Lymphedema Program offers both Inpatient and Outpatient treatment options.
The intensive Inpatient Program is one of the nation's most comprehensive and well established Lymphedema treatment programs.
The lymphatic system normally transports waste and protein-rich fluids away from the skin to the lymph nodes, where the fluid is filtered, returned to the bloodstream, and excreted.
Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when the lymphatic tissues or lymph nodes are damaged, destroyed, or removed. The flow of lymph fluid is then significantly slowed or halted. As a result, an abnormal amount of fluid accumulates in the skin causing swelling arms and legs to feel heavy and tight.
There are not specialized diagnostic tests to identify lymphedema, but your doctor can make a diagnosis based on your medical history and your description of symptoms. A history of radiation therapy to lymph node areas, lymph node removal, or being elderly or overweight all put you at an increased risk for developing the condition.
Typical signs and symptoms of Lymphedema:
Siskin Hospital has the facilities and staff to treat patients beyond the four standards of care for lymphedema treatment that include manual lymphatic drainage, compression, exercises, and skin care. The inpatient program offers the advantages of in-house consultations for clinical nutrition, pain management, physical and occupational therapy, and psychology. This interdisciplinary approach involves physiatrists, certified lymphedema therapists, clinicians trained in wound care, and case managers working to evaluate, treat and assist the patient in care management.
Siskin Hospital's expert team consists of six certified Lymphedema therapists, as well as three additional therapists who are clinically trained in Lymphedema treatment.
The goals of the program are specific to each patient and injury, but overall are aimed at restoring, enhancing, and supporting the patient's maximum level of independence. Through inpatient, outpatient, day hospital, sub acute, and vocational rehabilitation programs, Siskin Hospital offers comprehensive rehabilitation at every level of treatment, from initial therapy to returning the patient to the community, school or work.
Components of Care
The primary component of lymphedema care is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD). A trained practitioner uses a gentle, massage technique in the direction of the lymph flow. Working along the channels from the end of the limb toward the trunk of the body, MLD temporarily stimulates the lymphatic vessels to move lymph fluid.
Specialized bandages and compression garments are worn to promote lymphatic flow and prevent fluid from accumulating again following MLD. After therapy begins, the garments are worn every day to maintain results.
Exercise maximizes the effect of compression. Because the lymphatic system does not contain a ‘pump' like the circulatory system, it is important to move the muscles and joints to stimulate the lymphatic system to help move the fluid out of the body.
Because the skin of stage III patients is stretched beyond normal, lymphedema increases the risk of skin breakdown. Any break in the skin, however small, may be an entry site for infection-causing bacteria. If skin integrity is compromised, a wound care nurse will work to properly clean, bandage and monitor the wound.
Beyond these four basics of lymphedema care, the inpatient program also works with a registered dietician to develop a diet specifically tailored to the patient's nutritional and caloric needs.
Treatment & Education Schedule
As a patient, it helps to understand the treatment process at Siskin Hospital. The following is a schedule of what to expect in the In-Patient Lymphedema program.
Daily Lymphedema In-Patient Schedule (Monday - Friday)
|6:00am||Wake-up, Medications, Physician visit|
|6:30am||Walk down to breakfast|
|6:45am||Breakfast in 1st floor dining room|
|7:00am||Remove all bandages and shower|
|8:00- 10:00am||Lymphedema Therapy Begins (AM Session)|
|1:30- 3:00pm||Remove Bandages|
|3:00- 4:00pm||Lymphedema Therapy Begins (PM Session)|
|5:00pm||Dinner/ Wash and roll bandages|
On Saturdays and Sundays: Wrapping on your own time and 1 hour of therapy each day from Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy.
**Please be on time for all of your scheduled therapy treatments.
**Occupational Therapy and other consults will happen throughout the weekdays.
A physician's referral and prescription for Lymphedema Therapy are required before therapy can begin. After receiving the referral, a team member will contact the patient to schedule an evaluation. Referrals may be faxed to (423) 634-4578.
The Link Below is Required Information for In-Patient Lymphedema Treatment Referral:
Please click the link below to download a printable PDF version of the form:
It makes the admissions process easier if we have the Referral Information Form before your arrival at Siskin Hospital.
Please submit the completed packet to:
Siskin Hospital Lymphedema Clinic
One Siskin Plaza
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Attn: John Jordi
You may also contact John Jordi by phone at (423) 634-1246, by fax at (423) 634-4546, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To alleviate the cost burden of treatment and compression garments, Siskin Hospital accepts donations specifically for lymphedema patients. For more information on how you can make a difference in the lives of our patients, click here.