Treatment for Lymphedema
The discussion of lymphedema treatment is too extensive for this forum/question. I refer you to the National Lymphedema Network and other similar websites for a more detailed discussion.
There are several basic components of treatment for lymphedema and I will briefly answer this question by mentioning elements of the mainstream/ established treatment process and avoiding brand names.
When you are diagnosed with lymphedema, evaluation for the "best fit" of therapy option is best done by a skilled , knowledgeable lymphedema therapist. Treatment customarily involves several phases including evaluation and intensive treatment followed by maintenance and monitoring.
Measurements are often necessary to monitor treatment progress and in the selection of appropriated sized compression device/ stocking/garment.
1. Skin Care:
• Low pH cleansers
• Avoid trauma and potential trauma and inflammatory triggers
• Treat signs of infection early
• Maintain skin integrity
2. Manual lymphatic drainage: a systematic, manual maneuver composed of an almost semicircular wave of the hand that lightly stretches the skin then pauses holding briefly the brushed skin before release.
3. Compression therapy
• bandaging/ wrapping with short stretch, compressive elastic wraps over bulky wrappings usually made of cotton or foam
• bandaging units with a posterior stem of flexible material and adjustable straps of stretchy material that are pulled to apply compression and secured
• Bulky sleeves of foam in a material casing worn with compression applied by overlays of stretchy elastic bandages, or sleeves of stretchy material or straps that are pulled around and secured.
• Compression garments/ stockings that fitting over the lymphedematous arm , leg or body area worn daily
• Mechanical pumps supplying compression via the sequential filling and release of air into balloon like bladders located within material casing worn over the lymphedematous area.
• Applying a single sided slightly sticky stretching tape to the skin in specific patterns to achieve skin compression and movement
4. Maintenance of ideal body weight
5. Avoidance of extremes of temperature along the upper range
7. Surgery to reestablish lymphatic connections addressed in other answers.
Realize there maybe times/triggers when your lymphedema becomes uncontrolled and you must return to a more intensive combination of therapies to regain control.
Posted: 26 Jun 2012 10:19 AM Originally Posted: 26 Jun 2012 10:22 AM