JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Amy Groene, physical therapist with Capital Region Medical Center, recently earned her certification in Lymphedema therapy. Groene’s certification is through the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy, one of the premier educational institutions for training medical professionals in the treatment of pathologies related to the lymphatic system.
Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein rich fluid under the skin that causes swelling, most often in the arms or legs that can develop when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes removed. Lymphedema can develop as a result of surgery, radiation, infection or trauma; basically anything that causes damage to the lymph vessels or lymph nodes can place a patient at risk for developing lymphedema.
Once there is damage to the system, the patient will always be at risk of developing lymphedema and can develop symptoms at any time – weeks, months, or even years later. Treatment of lymphedema requires a skilled therapist trained in lymphedema therapy. Treatment consists of several aspects of care, including manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging and compression garments, education on proper skin care, as well as exercises to enhance lymphatic drainage. Patient education on risk reduction practices is also important along the continuum of care.
Groene is the first certified lymphedema therapist at CRMC available on an inpatient basis. Before, certified lymphedema therapists were only available in an outpatient setting.
“Having a certified lymphedema therapists in the hospital setting will be beneficial, not only for early detection and early treatment of problems, but also serve as a great resource for education in the early post op stage for patients, to better prevent complications from occurring,” says Paula Burnett, Director of Rehabilitation Services. “Being able to be proactive in our care plan, helps provide our patients clearer expectations for recovery and management of lymphedema.”
About Capital Region Medical Center
Capital Region Medical Center, located in Jefferson City, Mo. is an affiliate hospital of University of Missouri Health Care, and encompasses a full service hospital, a comprehensive cancer program at Goldschmidt Cancer Center, home health and an expansive clinic system covering eight counties. Within the hospital, the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center is one of the few accredited hospital-based rehabilitation centers in the state. From prenatal and obstetric care to orthopaedic and cardiovascular services, Capital Region provides innovative health care, advancing its mission to improve the health and wellness of the people and communities it serves.