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Our lymphedema team helps patients and families learn to recognize the signs of lymphedema and manage them, and creates individualized treatment for each patient.

Lymphedema clinic locations

Rehabilitation Therapies
UNC Hospital Center for Rehabilitation Care
1807 N. Fordham Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: (984) 974-9700

UNC Therapy Services
3708 Mayfair Street
Suite 120
Durham, NC 27707
Phone: (984) 215-4970

“After cancer surgery I knew that it was going to be a ‘new normal,’ but I wanted that new normal to be as close to the old normal as possible. I’m a walker, and the therapy helped me get back to my normal activities a lot quicker.” –Melanoma patient

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a buildup of fluid in the skin of an arm or leg or in your chest, breast, head or neck. Lymphedema happens when damage occurs to this lymphatic system and lymph cannot move through the body. This can happen after cancer treatments, including surgery and radiation. Lymphedema can happen in the first few months of cancer treatments or it may happen months to years later. The affected area may have the following symptoms:

  • Tightness of the skin
  • Clothes or jewelry may feel tight
  • Less flexibility
  • Swelling
  • Weakness
  • Heaviness, aching or pain

Lymphedema care information

The purpose of these guides is to empower you with information so that you know what signs to watch for and what you should do if you develop lymphedema. If lymphedema develops, with early detection, therapy, and excellent self-care, you can manage your lymphedema and continue to move forward to do the things you enjoy in life.

If you are having signs of lymphedema, let your UNC Cancer Team know right away. Ask your doctor for a referral to the Lymphedema Clinic or call (984) 974-9700. Our certified lymphedema therapists at UNC Health Care are able to determine how best to treat your swelling.

UNC Health Library Lymphedema Resources