Lymphedema is an excess accumulation of protein rich fluid in a body part, usually causing a limb to swell, sometimes to monstrous proportions.
What is Lymphedema therapy?
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) has been used for many years as a successful, conservative treatment option for lymphedema. The treatment requires a great deal of commitment and motivation by both the practitioners and the patient. The program is divided into four parts: meticulous skin care, manual lymphatic drainage, bandaging/garments and exercise.
The initial phase requires daily treatment for two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the condition. Patients receive instruction on skin care, self-bandaging and a home exercise program. Patients receive and are instructed in manual lymphatic drainage, a technique that increases the transport of lymph within the vessels. Patients have to bandage every day and exercise with the bandages in place. Toward the end of the series of treatments, patients are fitted with compression garments to maintain reduction.
Prospective patients must assess if the have they self-motivation and/or external support of family and friends to take full advantage of this course of treatment.
Prospective patients must assess their commitment to the program to take full advantage of this course of treatment.
A physical therapist will work closely with you to design a treatment program to help control the swelling and meet your goals for returning to your activities.