Lymphedema - Complete Decongestive Therapy
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
This is a "hands on" manipulation of both the body tissue with lymphedema and adjacent selected areas. Our specially trained therapists use gentle pressure to empty and decompress obstructed lymph vessels. Such therapy facilitates the unhindered flow of the lymph fluid and allows the limb to return to normal or near normal size.
Once the MLD treatment is completed, the area is wrapped with layers of compression bandages. This helps the affected area maintain its reduced size.
With the bandages in place, the patient will exercise to strengthen the muscles and improve lymph and circulatory system function.
Active muscles enhance the process of pumping proteins, cells and water away from areas affected by lymphedema. The compression bandages provide support to the muscle's "pump system," prompting the absorption of excess lymphatic fluid.
Skin Care and Education
Patients with lymphedema are at high risk for infection, so proper skin care and nutrition are critical to success.
That’s why the CDT treatment includes individualized education sessions. Patients become proficient in CDT techniques: wrapping, exercises and skin care to continue after completion of treatment.
How long does treatment at the Lymphedema Treatment Center take to complete?
Every patient is unique, so the specific course of treatment of each patient varies. However, after an initial evaluation by the Lymphedema Treatment Center therapists, patients should expect to be treated five days a week, for a period of two to six weeks.
Following an initial program of therapy, all patients will be re-evaluated. A long-term course of treatment will be decided upon in consultation with each patient’s physician. Depending on the severity of the condition, lymphedema treatment will continue at greater intervals for some, lesser intervals for others. Remember that lymphedema is a chronic condition, and must be managed for life.