Dr. Madeline Chatlain

What if my arm is only a "little" swollen?

First and foremost, you should contact your doctor and have him examine you. He will then guide you to a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT-LANA) in your area who will be able to treat you. Also, it is a good idea to educate yourself by contacting the National Lymphedema Network and see what their guidelines are for treatment.

In general, it is our philosophy to treat this condition aggressively. Why is this important? What is the big deal if your arm is a little swollen? Well, unfortunately, it is a "big deal" and can become even a life-threatening 'deal' if not treated. (see the section on cellulitis)

The 3 Levels associated with this condition are:

  1. Increase in chances of Infection.
  2. Cellular level changes which you cannot "see" but which can cause severe complications to your system.
  3. Psychological Level: having an arm/leg which is larger than another not only makes it more difficult to move and perform your activities of daily living but also is unsightly, and has a negative effect on your self-esteem.