Lymphedema is the chronic swelling of a body part, most often in the arm or leg that can range from mild to severe. Normally, lymph nodes filter fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances, which are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes. Without normal lymph drainage, fluid can build up in the affected arm or leg, and lymphedema can develop.
Causes of lymphedema
- It may be caused by surgery to remove lymph nodes, radiation therapy, injury to the lymph nodes, or if you get an infection or injury in the affected body part.
- Anyone who has been treated for cancer with surgery and/or radiation may be at risk.
- It can develop shortly after surgery, months or even years later. There is no time limit.
Lymphedema services are provided at NCH Outpatient Services in Rolling Meadows. Please speak with your doctor to see if this program is right for you. A physician’s order is needed to schedule an appointment. Call the Outpatient Center in Rolling Meadows at 847-618-3880.
NCH also offers Lymphedema support and educational services:
- Oncology social worker, 847-618-6914
- Breast Program Manager, 847-618-7431