Fairview Edema Treatment Centers

Reducing swelling, restoring health

Edema is swelling in any part of your body. Swelling may be caused by disease, birth defect, surgery, cancer treatment or other problems.

Lymphedema is swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid. The lymph system filters and drains excess fluid in your body. If the lymph system is damaged, the fluid builds up causing swelling.

Swelling injures body tissue and increases your risk for infection. Tissues may harden over time, making treatment more difficult. It is important to start treatment in the early stages of lymphedema. If you notice any swelling or issues with scarring from surgery, see your doctor and ask for a referral to edema care. 

Frequently asked questions about edema treatment 

Conditions we treat
We treat swelling resulting from:
  • Post-cancer treatment
  • Chronic venous problems or post blood clot
  • Congenital (primary) lymphedema
  • Orthopedic swelling
  • Repeated cellulites
  • Trauma
  • Neurological conditions

We also treat
  • Scar adhesions/soft tissue restrictions in the treated areas
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Posture changes
  • Nerve irritation: pain, numbness and tingling
  • Decreased ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Pain
  • Cording or auxiliary web syndrome (development of ropey tissue that feels web-like and restricts movement)

Programs and services
Edema therapists are physical and occupational therapists with advanced training in edema treatment. Services provided include:
  • Manual lymphatic drainage—a massage-like treatment that helps remove lymph fluid
  • Bandaging following manual lymphatic drainage—applying low-stretch bandages using specific pressure to improve and prevent fluid from returning to swollen areas and to prevent tissue hardening
  • Education about lymphedema prevention and management
  • Soft tissue mobilization/scar management
  • Range of motion, posture and strengthening exercises
  • Nerve gliding exercises to help reduce nerve restrictions
  • Pain management
  • Exercises to help the lymph system drain fluid
  • Recommendations for custom medical compression garments to prevent fluid from refilling in the tissues
Most health insurance plans provide coverage for edema treatment with a physician’s prescription. Check with your insurance provider regarding coverage.

Locations by city:






Our Providers Make the Difference
Fairview features nearly 4,000 providers practicing at over 200 locations throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and beyond. Fairview Clinics, University of Minnesota Physicians and our independent partner clinics provide an exceptional care experience, while lowering the overall costs of health care.
 Visit Other Fairview Sites 
(c) 2012 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved.