Audrain Medical Center is pleased to announce the addition of Aqua Lymphatic Therapy (ALT) for Lymphedema patients. Jenea Smith, PT, CLT, ALT recently completed 56 contact hours of training for the management and treatment of upper and lower extremity lymphedema with Dorit Tidhar, MPT, ALT, CDT. Dorit designed The Tidhar Method© to help people who suffer from lymphedema maintain and improve the results of conventional treatment. It was the first time this certification course was offered in the United States. The course was presented by the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and was funded by Mid-Missouri Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Jenea becomes one of the few therapists certified to perform ALT in the United States.
Jenea became proficient in all aspects of ALT and demonstrated her knowledge in the anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system and the how the properties of water can be used to safely treat patients with upper and lower extremity lymphedema. ALT can be performed to maintain or improve reductions in lymphedema that are achieved during the intensive treatment phase of Complete Decongestive Therapy. ALT also promotes self-advocacy. This method educates patients about using a particular sequence and the slow rhythm of exercises to reduce edema and to take control of their own care once they reach the maintenance phase.
Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling in a body part due to accumulation of lymph fluid. Swelling is usually in an arm or leg, but can also occur in the face, neck, trunk, pelvis or groin. It is a very common and serious condition worldwide and has pathological and clinical consequences for the patient if left untreated. Secondary Lymphedema is often caused by trauma to the lymphatic system, such as surgery, injury, scarring, infection and/or radiation therapy. Post-mastectomy Lymphedema of the upper extremity caused by breast cancer treatment is very common in the United States.
Once a person is diagnosed with Lymphedema, Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is indicated. Since there is no cure, the goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling and to maintain the reduction. CDT has been proven to provide positive long-term results in managing Lymphedema. The treatment consists of four components: Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD); Meticululous Skin Care; Compression and Exercise.
If you are interested in knowing more about Lymphedema and our services, please contact Healthworks at 573-582-8888 to request a brochure. Patients must be referred for treatment by a physician.