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Lymphedema Therapy Now Available at Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center

Cartersville, Ga. (July 1, 2024) – Piedmont Cartersville now provides therapy for patients with lymphedema, a condition that results from impaired flow of the lymphatic system and can cause mild to severe swelling in one of more of a person’s extremities.

According to the Lymphatic Education and Research Network, it is estimated that up to 10 million Americans, and hundreds of millions worldwide, suffer from lymphedema and lymphatic diseases.

“I’m extremely proud that we now offer lymphedema therapy at Piedmont Cartersville,” said Joe Wach, executive director, patient services. “This addition is an example of our ongoing commitment to provide services needed in our community, close to home. The dedication of our rehabilitation team to develop the program and obtain the required certifications underscores their level of commitment to our patients.”

The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and part of the immune system. It consists of a network of vessels beginning just below the skin and draining down to deeper vessels that run alongside the veins. These vessels remove excess fluid from the tissues, as well as proteins, lipids (fats), cell debris, antigens (germs), etc., which is called “lymph.” The lymph is carried to lymph nodes, which

are located around the body and filter out harmful substances. The protein-rich lymph is returned to the blood stream via the subclavian veins which are near the collar bone.


Lymphedema can occur when there is a problem with lymph vessels and/or lymph nodes. It can affect any part of your body – arms, legs, trunk or face. It involves the following:

  • Swelling, which can limit use of a limb
  • Gradual thickening and hardening of the skin
  • Increased risk of infections

Risk factors may include: cancer treatment that involved surgical removal of lymph nodes and/or radiation; any surgery that cut through major lymph vessels; family members with a history of swelling; long-standing problems with your veins; injuries resulting in long-lasting swelling; repeated skin infections;

lengthy residence in a tropical region; and obesity.


Warning signs of lymphedema can include clothing and jewelry feeling tight, clothing leaving indentations and at-risk limb feeling achy, tight, full, tired, heavy or warm. If you experience any of these signs, you should:

  • Stop doing the activity that brought it on
  • Loosen anything that feels tight
  • Rest and elevate your limb on pillows or other soft surface
  • Contact your doctor for a referral to the Lymphedema Program for evaluation

While lymphedema cannot be cured, it can be controlled. The treatment is called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) and is provided by Piedmont Cartersville’s team of certified lymphedema therapists. It involves intensive treatment followed by home management. An average treatment session is 90 minutes, three days a week, unless otherwise indicated. An average course of treatment lasts four to eight weeks. Our therapists utilize the latest manual treatment techniques, bandaging and decongestive exercises. Education is provided for patients and their family members regarding application of bandages and manual techniques for management of symptoms at home. The lymphedema therapists also provide guidance and recommendations for garments to help patients maintain compliance with lymphedema management upon completion of treatment.


The Lymphedema Therapy Program at Piedmont Cartersville is located inside the Advanced Wound Healing Center at Piedmont Physicians Center, 970 Joe Frank Harris Parkway, Suite 240.


If you have signs or symptoms of lymphedema, ask your physician for a referral to Piedmont Cartersville’s Lymphedema Therapy Program. For more information, please call 470-490-1900.



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