What is Lymphedema?

Disturbances of the lymphatic system that lead to the accumulation of protein rich fluid that remains in the interstitial tissues results in swelling and hardening (fibrotic changes), usually an arm or leg but can be whole body. Lymphedema is a chronic disorder.

What are the different reasons for impairment or insufficiency of the lymphatic system?

Primary (congenital) Lymphedema – When the lymphatic system structure is abnormal at birth. The system is no longer able to compensate with the demands place upon it, sooner or later during the person’s life, primary lymphedema develops.
Secondary Lymphedema – anything causing injury (surgery, radiation, infection, contusion, or dislocation) to a healthy lymphatic system can potentially result in permanent damage, resulting in inadequate function leading to chronic swelling or secondary lymphedema.

The good news is that early detection and treatment can greatly minimize the effects. The proven international standard of care &/or management of Lymphedema using CDT “Complete Decongestive Therapy”. CDT has zero side effects, and has very good results…


Phase I: Intensive Phase – sessions 4 or 5 days/week for 2-4 weeks. Includes MLD (manual lymph drainage), meticulous skin care, compression bandaging and special exercises to promote lymphatic return. *Importance of treatment frequency! Compliance to follow regime schedule will provide optimal results…. Reduction of edema and improved quality of life.

Phase II: Management Phase – Follow up sessions of MLD (manual lymph drainage) as needed, meticulous skin care, compression garments and exercise. Follow precaution guidelines as instructed and periodic re-evaluation for garment replacement (6-12mo).

Lymphedema Team at Healing Spirit

Highly trained in all CDT phases. With our integrated setting we are able to make ongoing assessments and adjust treatment accordingly.

JoAnne Lutz ANP-BC, CLT-LANA, Primary Care
Carma Douglas AGNP-BC, CLT-LANA
Mary Starkovich, BSN, RN-CLT
Mary Johnson, MSN, RN-CLT
Jessica Downey BSN-RN, CLT-LANA
Susan Johnson, Lymphedema Care Coordinator
All practitioners are Certified Lymphedema Therapists trained following the
international proven standard of lymphedema treatment

Insurance Billing Options

Most insurance accepted. Please call to verify that we accept your insurance plan.


Available 10 minute consultations to answer your specific questions regarding LE (lymphedema), and how CDT might be helpful. Offered by Carma Douglas AGNP-BC, CLT-LANA (Certified Lymphedema Therapist-Lymphology Association of North America) and Susan Johnson, our Lymphedema Care Coordinator.