Complete Decongestive Therapy
Lymphoedema treatment consists of a series of elements that in combination make up the term “Complete Decongestive Therapy” (or CDT for short). CDT is the world-class management system for Lymphoedema with both research and clinical evidence to support its use as the gold standard of treatment. The elements included in the therapy are:
Education – understanding of your condition is an important step towards empowering you to manage it and overcome it.
Skin care and infection prevention – your skin is your protective barrier to the outside world. Sometimes when a limb is swollen the skin can become damaged, so regular skin care is very important.
Exercise – Our lymphatics are stimulated to clear fluid by our muscles contracting and relaxing as we move around. We can teach you techniques to maximise this pumping effect to stimulate your lymphatics to clear excess fluid.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) – MLD has been shown to significantly improve swelling and reduce symptoms associated with Lymphoedema such as discomfort and stiffness, as well as enhance fluid clearance. It is a specifically sequenced, very gentle and relaxing form of massage aimed at stimulating lymphatic flow throughout the body. Performing MLD requires specialist knowledge and training to ensure its effectiveness.
Compression bandaging and garments – Once MLD has got the excess fluid moving from the affected area, compression bandaging and garments might be required for some people to keep it from returning. Our job is to determine what the patient’s needs are and to prescribe the appropriate medical compression garment.
Can CDT benefit me?
The knowledge we possess as lymphoedema practitioners can assist in the management of a wide range of conditions that present with swelling as a component of their symptoms;
- Post-operative swelling
- Vascular disease
- Effects of cancer treatment leading to Lymphoedema, such as breast cancer, prostate, head/throat, melanoma/sarcoma/carcinoma
- Scar management
- Genetically induced swelling disorders.
Referrals from GPs or specialists are not necessary, but patients may be eligible for a Medicare rebate under the Enhanced Primary Care program. Contact us today for an appointment on 03 5223 9900.