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The Lymphedema Clinic

Women & Infants’ Program in Women’s Oncology offers a Lymphedema Clinic. This comprehensive approach to lymphedema management can reduce the build-up of lymphatic fluid in the arms and legs. This clinic focuses on prevention, treatment, and maintenance of lymphedema. 

The most effective treatment is manual lymphatic drainage therapy. This technique is used to open the lymphatic system to help drain the affected limbs. Our lymphedema therapists have advanced training and have been certified to use a combination of specific treatments, called complete decongestive therapy (CDT). This includes: 

  • Lymphatic drainage massage.
  • Compression bandaging of the involved limb(s).
  • Education in proper diet, exercise and skin care precautions.

Scheduling an Appointment

These services are provided at three locations. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please contact Sandra Scuncio, program coordinator, at (401) 274-1122, ext. 47208.

Care New England Center for Health
South County Commons
South Kingstown, RI 02883
P: (401) 789-2867, ext. 7135
Center for Health and Well-Being
333 Valley Road
Middletown, RI
P: (401) 846-0042
Women & Infants’ Breast and Gyn Consultative Services
373 New Boston Road
Fall River, MA 02720
P: (508) 235-3500, ext. 23

Women & Infants’ Program in Women’s Oncology offers the area's only Lymphedema Support Group. The group meets the first Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. at the Program in Women’s Oncology. Contact Jessica Barletta, licensed lymphedema therapist, at (401) 453-7520, ext. 47285 for more information.

Lymphedema FAQs

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a condition that results in an accumulation of protein-rich fluid. This causes swelling, usually in the arms and legs. Some cancer treatments can put a person at risk for lymphedema. It can occur immediately after treatment or many years later. Lymphedema can develop after surgery or radiation for any type of cancer that affects the lymph nodes or the lymph drainage. But it most often occurs after treatment for patients with breast cancer, pelvic cancers (such as prostate or uterine cancers), lymphoma, or melanoma.

What causes lymphedema?

Causes of lymphedema include:

  • The removal of or damage to the lymph nodes due to surgery.
  • Radiation treatment.
  • Infection.
  • Muscle strain.
  • Binding forces.
  • A genetic defect in the lymphatic system.

It is unclear why some patients develop lymphedema, and others do not.

What are the symptoms of lymphedema?

Symptoms of lymphedema include:

  • Swelling.
  • Feeling of heaviness.
  • Hardness.
  • Numbness/tingling.
  • Frequent infections in the arms and legs.

Can lymphedema be cured?

Lymphedema is a condition that can be treated, not cured. If left untreated, this protein-rich fluid can cause the lymphatic system’s channels to grow larger. It can also reduce the amount of oxygen that is transported in the body. This affects the healing of wounds and encourages bacteria growth that may lead to infection.