Friday, February 24, 2012
Multidisciplinary Lymphedema Treatment Program.
I have long been a proponent of a lymphedema treatment "team." This is a team of medical professionals that would be involved in a patients lymphedema management program.
For example, in my own team I have:
Primary Care Physician
Infectious Disease Doctor
Pulmonary doctor (due to lymphedema related pulmonary complications)
Certified lymphedema therapist
At times, this team has expanded to include a home health nurse, physical therapist, and an occupational therapist.
As you can see from the article others might include a vascular surgeon, physiotherapist, dietitician, dermatologist, and even a psychologist.
A team approach is designed around the patients very specific medical needs and their very specfic medical situation. This way, there is a "complete" patient care focus.
Multidisciplinary Lymhpedema Treatment Program
Lymphedema is an underrecognized and undertreated condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach in an individualized program that will address the special needs of each patient. In an ideal setting of an outpatient management program the team should be composed of a vascular surgeon, a dermatologist, a physiotherapist, a dietician, a psychologist, a social worker, and an office employee, working together in the assessment and management of all aspects of lymphedema. All treatment strategies and actions taken should ultimately focus on the improvement of the quality of life of patients suffering from lymphedema and on the prevention of lymphedema in high-risk patients.