Patients receive Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), a comprehensive approach which conservatively addresses the pathology with the following critical elements:
- Manual Lymph Drainage therapy that includes a type of massage to mobilize excess lymphatic fluid from the affected body part.
- Compression Bandaging with multilayered bandaging that provides custom compression to prevent re-accumulation of the edema. Compression garments are fitted after significant swelling has been eliminated and maintenance of the current condition is desired.
- Exercises specifically designed to enhance lymphatic drainage with bandages in place and improve muscle and joint mobility.
- Skin and nail care to maintain skin integrity and prevent development of infection.
Patients with Lymphedema are separated into two groups
Patients with Primary lymphedema which may or may not have an inherited origin are affected at any time during their lifespan although the typical presentation is after adolescence.
Secondary lymphedema can result from chemo or radiation therapy, surgery, infection, trauma or even obesity where lymph node drainage is compromised.