Treatment options 2

How can lymphedema be treated?

Long-term treatment can achieve good results. Complex physical decongestive therapy (CPD) is particularly successful. The aim is to first decongest the affected limbs – as the name suggests.

Initially, the focus is on skincare and hygiene. You should clean and care for the affected areas. A therapist then performs manual lymphatic drainage before applying a compression bandage immediately afterwards. This encourages the return flow of lymph fluid during this phase. Without the bandages, the edema could return after about two hours. As part of the decongestion process, it is important to keep active – preferably directly after the manual lymphatic drainage and with the bandaging in place.

Once the decongestion phase is complete, the second phase will start, the maintenance phase. The four components are the same as in decongestion: hygiene, lymphatic drainage, compression and physical activity. The difference is that the compression dressing is replaced with a compression garment. Flat-knit compression stockings, specifically seamed garments that are less elastic with a stiffer material than round-knit garments, are usually used for this.