Your comfort is our priority.

Lymphedema can affect the ability to move and cause significant discomfort. While there's no cure for lymphedema, Mary Free Bed can help minimize its impact on your life or the life of your child. Our specialized treatment and care help to reduce swelling and prevent complications in adults and children of all ages.

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is swelling in a body part, usually an arm or leg, that can make it feel heavy, tight and uncomfortable. It can also occur in the abdomen, breast, face, neck or genitals. This abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid can lead to complications and put you or your child at risk for a range of health concerns.

Causes include:

  • Cancer involving the lymph system
  • Procedures involving the lymph nodes or lymph system
  • Post-radiation treatment
  • Post-surgery
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency
  • Congenital abnormality
  • Inherited conditions
  • Obesity
  • Trauma

Lymphedema patient


We can help manage symptoms so you or your child can enjoy life. If lymphedema is a side effect of a cancer diagnosis, treatment is provided as part of our Betty Bloomer Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program.

We use a technique called complete decongestive therapy, considered the gold standard of evidenced-based lymphedema treatment. This includes:

  • Specialized massage techniques
  • Compression therapy
  • Exercises to facilitate improved lymphatic flow
  • Nail and skin care


This typically results in better function and movement of the affected limb and reduces the risk of infection, injury or skin problems.

We’ll also create a customized plan for long-term self-care, including education on proper skin care and diet, compression and massage techniques, and exercises you can do at home to safely reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort.

Lymphedema patient at outpatient clinic

Your team

Clinicians highly skilled at lymphedema treatment partner with you on a plan of care. Depending on your individual needs, you may see a Mary Free Bed physician who specializes in rehabilitation with expertise in the latest evidence-based treatment.

You’ll be treated by a certified lymphedema therapist. Our CLTs typically complete additional advanced training, including certification by the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA).

Loved ones are important members of your team, too. We’ll teach the techniques necessary to treat and manage your or your child’s condition at home.


To get started, we’ll need a referral for treatment by your physician or a Mary Free Bed physician specializing in lymphedema.

Call 616.840.8005 with questions.

Lymphedema patient with therapist


Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
235 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
P: 616.840.8005

Mary Free Bed Holland
3290 N. Wellness Drive
Building D, Suite 150
Holland, MI 49424
P: 616.294.4066

The next step on your path to recovery.

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