Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation: Overview

The Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation is a state-of-the-art facility that provides services tailored to the special needs of people who are undergoing or have recently completed cancer treatment. Our rehabilitation specialists are experts in helping patients regain their strength, mobility, and functional independence.

Specialists at the Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation include:

  • Physiatrists, who are doctors who treat and manage neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and cardiopulmonary disorders
  • Physical therapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs), who help patients recover physical skills through a variety of approaches, such as therapeutic exercise, neuromuscular training, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
  • Lymphedema therapists, who help patients manage lymphedema, a side effect of surgery for some types of cancer, particularly breast cancer

Our rehabilitation staff members all have special expertise in caring for people with cancer. Learn more about Rehabilitation Medicine, Occupational & Physical Therapy.

Facilities

The 22,500-square-foot Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation has a spacious gymnasium that resembles a full-service health club. It is stocked with advanced equipment that can accommodate wheelchairs and people with physical impairments. One specialized machine combines sophisticated pressure sensors with computer games, offering patients an enjoyable and effective way to build strength and coordination. Another machine, called the Balance Master EquiTest®, lets therapists test patients' balance control.

Video

As an outpatient physical therapist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Sebi Varghese is at the forefront of developing creative new approaches to rehabilitation for cancer patients. Varghese and her team use a variety of methods to help patients restore range of motion, reduce pain, increase energy, and become active participants in their recovery. Taking part in someone's recovery — and hopefully opening up a new chapter in his or her life — is very satisfying, she says.

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In a simulated park at the center of the gymnasium, patients can practice stepping on and off curbs and walking on the uneven surfaces they may encounter in the real world - grass, asphalt, or inclines, for example. There is also a simulated kitchen with a dishwasher and refrigerator, and a bathroom with grab bars so patients can practice routine household tasks safely.

The floor has a separate exercise room with mirrors and ballet bars for group instruction and floor exercise, and a conference room for holding educational seminars.

The Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation also provides private, individualized care in treatment bays and rooms dedicated to lymphedema management.

Rehabilitation Medicine

The center's five physiatrists have offices on the floor above the main treatment area. They assess pain and dysfunction in nerves, muscles, and bones that can limit mobility or cause discomfort, and see referrals from patients' other physicians at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Six examination rooms are available for the evaluation and treatment of these conditions. Staff can give injections to muscles and joints to reduce pain or spasticity on-site. Two of the rooms also have electromyography machines, which can identify the cause and location of a dysfunction in the peripheral nervous system.

After performing a thorough evaluation, our physiatrists refer patients to an appropriate therapist for an exercise program. Physiatrists can also provide specialized braces or other prosthetic devices to improve function and independence.

Financial Services

Patient Financial Services has staff located in the Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation. They work on behalf of patients to get authorization for insurance coverage for rehabilitation services, and can address other financial questions you might have.