Our Lymphedema treatment program combines several forms of treatment to treat and manage Lymphedema.

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid between the skin and muscles of the body after the lymphatic system has been damaged. The accumulation of lymph fluid in the affected area causes swelling.

Causes of Lymphedema

Injury, scarring, radiation or excision of lymph nodes, repeated infections or paralysis with dependent limb position.

Symptoms of Lymphedema

Lymphedema causes swelling with a feeling of heaviness and tightness, usually in the arm or leg. In most cases, only one arm or leg is affected. Swelling in the leg usually begins in the foot and then moves up to the ankle and knee.

  • Dull ache in affected limb
  • Feeling of tightness in the skin
  • Difficulty moving a limb, bending at the joint because of swelling and tightness
  • Pitting – small indentation left on the skin after pressure is applied
  • Shoes, rings, or watches suddenly fit too tightly

Complete Decongestive Therapy

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) consists of three components of treatment for lymphedema, including; manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression therapy, and exercise. All components are integral parts of a lymphedema treatment program.

Manual Lymph Drainage

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gentle manual treatment, which improves the activity and function of the lymph vessels. MLD helps re-route the lymph flow around the blocked areas into more centrally located lymph vessels that drain into the venous system.

Compression Therapy

Compression Therapy increases the tissue pressure and is applied between treatments to prevent the re-accumulation of lymph fluid. In the first stage of treatment, multi-layered short stretch bandages are applied to the affected area. In phase two, compression garments are used. If appropriate, your therapist may measure you for a custom compression garment.


Decongestive exercises performed by the patient while wearing a compression garment aid in the pumping of the lymph. This will lead to further reduction of the swelling. Abdominal breathing exercises also help return the lymph fluid to the venous system.

Insurance Coverage

Insurance companies do reimburse for treatment for lymphedema from complications resulting from cancer surgeries; however, Medicare does not cover custom compression wraps.


Patients are instructed in skin care, massage, bandaging and gentle exercises in order to continue their treatment for lymphedema at home.

Free Screen on Us

We offer complimentary screens at all RET locations. If you’ve been dealing with a nagging injury or persistent pain, don’t wait any longer.

Ready to improve your quality of life? Let us help you get back to where you want to be.


Here’s what some of our patients had to say...

I started PT after a car accident. The staff was extremely helpful not just with injuries from the accident, but also other issues that had been bothering me. They are very good at communicating problems and solutions and are friendly to boot. Can’t recommend enough.

five stars Kevin RET Patient

Attentive, responsive, pleasant in communication, knowledgeable staff. I got good results in a short time. Thankful to Dr. Andrew for useful information and for a program of exercises.

five stars Elena RET Patient

Doug Free, the manager at Mercer Island Physical Therapy, has a PhD in PT, and is an amazing diagnostic doctor who explains why a specific injury occurred. He also does fabulous work on your body. His entire staff is knowledgeable and excellent therapists. 

five stars Gary RET Patient

I saw Anne at 7 weeks post ulnar nerve transposition. I’ve made more progress in 1 week with her than I did in those first 7.  She is extremely knowledgeable and up to date on current research.  I’d feel very good about sending my family and friends her way!

five stars Holli RET Patient

Kelly is amazing! I felt very comfortable and she asked all of the right questions, was super friendly, and knows exactly how to help. I always leave feeling so much better, and confident that if I do my exercises, I will heal!

five stars Kelsey RET Patient

Michelle has been amazing to work with. She quickly diagnosed the root cause of the issues that continued to plague me after recovering from hip replacement surgery that other PT’s (different companies) could not. She listens, is creative, resourceful, and very knowledgeable. Everyone at the clinic is always very professional and interested in our progress.

five stars Conrac RET Patient

I have been going to Summit Therapy for a shoulder problem. I’ve made steady progress and have gotten much pain relief. The staff is very friendly and great to work with. I recently had a sudden problem of vertigo. My therapist knew exactly what to do and performed a treatment that stopped the dizziness.

five stars Patricia RET Patient