Lymphoedema is best managed using Combined Decongestive Therapy. This involves Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) combined with skincare, exercise and multi-layer compression bandaging.
It begins with an intensive phase of therapy, which may involve daily treatments (MLD and bandaging) for a minimum of 2 weeks.
This is followed by the maintenance phase – MLD treatments are reduced to once or twice per week and the patient is advised on the use of compression garments as well as other strategies to maintain the fluid reduction achieved during the intensive stage.
Managing lymphoedema usually involves an intensive CDT treatment once or twice a year, combined with the use of compression garments, etc in between treatments.
CDT is the recommended treatment for medical pathologies associated with interrupted lymphatic systems. As with many medical treatments, the sooner the condition is diagnosed and treated, the greater the chances of significant benefit.
An individual assessment is needed in each case and the total time-frame and cost of treatment will be discussed at the assessment, as the particular needs of the client will determine the number of sessions and bandages required to complete the treatment.
For example, the treatment of arm lymphoedema may involve ten MLD sessions (at €70.00 per hour) plus the cost of bandages (approx €70-90) plus the cost of a compression garment to be worn afterwards (approx €90-150).
However, the treatment of primary leg lymphoedema may involve many more MLD sessions (upper and lower leg, both limbs) as well as more bandages.