Lymphedema Treatment. How do we treat?
We are specialized lymphedema therapist trained under Dr. Vodder School, develop in France (1932) by Emil Vodder PhD and Estrid Vodder. Our clinic helps you to manage lymphedema and prevent complications. We also highly emphasized on self care management and patient education such as dry brush, self bandaging, skin care, etc.
The Gold Standard for lymphedema treatment is Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT), a nonsurgical intervention.
It is an intensive program that involves 4 components: manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercises and skin care.
A) Pain-free therapy with Dr. Vodder’s Lymph Drainage
Massage-like technique, light skin stretch to stimulate the lymphatic fluid towards lymph nodes that are draining normally. These special strokes will not cause redness of the skin, nor pain. Dr. Vodder technique always begins with treating the lymph nodes and lymph vessels found at the neck. For MLD to be effective, MLD technique will be tailored according to each person condition depending on the surgery, location of lymph nodes removed, swelling location and stage of lymphedema. A typical MLD session requires 30 to 45 minutes, but may be extended depending on the indication. In the early stage of lymphedema management, intensive care is strongly recommended which is 5 sessions/week depending on the stages of the lymphedema.
B) Compression Therapy
Involves layered bandages or compression garments. It apply graduated pressure to the affected area to supports positive effect of MLD and prevent refill of the fluid to the affected limbs, minimize accumulation of fluid, soften any thickened tissues.
- Supports the skin elasticity and underlying tissues so that they may return to their normal shape
- Improves the efficacy of the pumping action of muscles which increases both lymph and venous return
- A mild increase in total tissue pressure minimizing arterial filtration which in turn reduce the refilling of fluid in the interstitial tissue
- Maintain the shape of the limb.
- Soften fibrosis. Proteins accumulated in the tissue cause the tissue to harden which will lead to more swelling as the fibrosis can impede the flow of fluid.
Consist of gentle stretching, range of motion exercise, breathing exercises, etc. Muscle contraction in the arms or legs combined with bandaging helps to accelerates the flow of lymph, pump the fluid out of the swollen limbs.
- Lower limb lymphedema: climbing stairs, hiking, wallking
- Upper limb lymphedema: cleaning, cooking, washing
D) Skin care:
Protect the affected limbs from infections such as cellulitis and skin breakdown.
- Wash yourself everyday, using mild soap and warm water. Rinse off the soap completely and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
- Apply a thin layer of lotion to your skin
- Check your skin everyday for cuts, blisters, rashes, sores, etc.
- Avoid injury to your skin from scratches, cuts, and insect bites
- Foot Care: If your leg has been affected, wear properly fitting cotton socks and change socks daily. Do not go barefoot.
- Reduce swelling
- Reduce the size of your lymphedema
- Reduce pain, numbness and tingling sensation
- Reduce fibrosis tissue and improve skin condition
- Improve mobility and ROM
- Increase quality of life
- Decrease risk of infection, cellulitis