What treatment is available for lymphoedema?
Best practice management has a holistic multidisciplinary approach and is provided by qualified lymphoedema therapists. The treatment method is conservative and in Australasia is termed Complex Lymphoedema Therapy (CLT). Older alternative terminologies are Complex Physical Therapy (CPT) or Complex Decongestive therapy (CDT).
CLT consists of the following components
- Skin care
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
- Compression therapy
Treatment is individualized for each client and not all components of treatment may be necessary in all cases. Those with mild lymphoedema may only require education, exercise and skin care whereas for more severe cases treatment may be longer and require two phases. Phase I is an intensive treatment provided by a trained lymphoedema therapist followed by Phase II, which is self management that the client continues at home. With improved health education people are reporting early limb changes promptly and this is contributing to a reduction in the need for intensive treatments