(for more detailed information on Lympoedema, please read our blog post on the subject)
Once the diagnosis of lymphoedema is confirmed, certain treatment procedures are indicated. Since there is no cure for lymphoedema, the goal of treatment is to reduce swelling and to maintain the reduction. For a majority of patients, this can be achieved by the skilful application of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which is safe, reliable, and non-invasive. It is proven to provide positive long-term results for both primary and secondary lymphoedema. CDT is performed by specially trained therapists.
The treatment consists of four components:
A gentle hands-on technique that stimulates the activity of the lymph vessels and manually moves lymph fluid. A series of MLD treatments will generally decrease the volume of the affected extremity to a normal or near normal size. Bandages applied during this time to retain the achieve reduction.
Graduated Compression Garments
Are necessary to maintain the reduced limb and are designed to replace the bandages that were used earlier in treatment. They are worn during the day while you are active. At night when you sleep, bandages or night garments are usually worn. The compression garments help to keep the swelling down, improve circulation, and prevent the reaccumulation of lymph fluid in the area. Nevertheless, the garments must be worn every day, for life.
We recommend an exercise program that is suited for your particular needs and ability. An effective decongestive exercise program aids the muscular system to move lymph fluid out of the affected area. Any exercise that causes pain or muscle soreness should be discussed with a therapist. Exercise such as swimming, walking, biking and yoga are recommended. Heavy weightlifting and overly aggressive sports that may cause injury should be avoided. Consult your physician/therapist before beginning any program.
With lymphoedema, the skin is usually dry and may crack easily, making it very susceptible to infections. A low-pH lotion, free of alcohol and fragrances should be used to maintain the moisture of the skin and to protect it. If an infection develops, consult your physician immediately! Here at Bn2 Health, we have the ALA cellulitis (infection) protocol that you can take to your doctor. Keep skin protected using a moisturizing lotion and wash with a mild pH-balanced soap. When bathing, water should be warm, not hot. Avoid irritating or allergy-causing cosmetics, detergents, deodorants and perfumes. Inspect your feet, hands and limbs regularly for skin changes since open skin invites bacteria and infection. Avoid cuts, pricks, scratches, burns, and insect bites that could increase swelling or promote infection. Use sunscreen and insect repellent regularly. Gloves are also a good protective measure for the hands when washing dishes, cooking, cleaning or working outdoors. Trauma can also increase swelling and further damage to the lymphatic system. Avoid blood pressure checks, IV’s, blood draws, and shots in the affected limb. Do not cut into the cuticles when trimming fingernails or toenails. Use an electric razor when shaving. Medical Compression Garments. It is highly recommended you be measured and fitted for your garment by your therapist. The wearing of an ill-fitting garment can cause damage or worsen your condition. We measure supply and fit, ready to wear and custom-made garments for all areas of the body. It is imperative that you wear a compression garment when flying, and on long car trips.
Low-Level Laser therapy (LLLT) is the treatment of various conditions using a laser to bring about a photochemical reaction at a cellular level. The laser light penetrates into tissue where it is absorbed by cells and converted into energy that influences the course of metabolic processes.
We at Bn2 Health use the LTU-904 model, it is an infra-red laser operating at a wavelength of 904 nanometers. This invisible wavelength penetrates deeply into tissue. See the link below to a randomised double-blinded study on the treatment of postmastectomy lymphoedema using the LTU-904 LLL laser.
Our program will not provide a cure, however, it will assist you to manage your symptoms long-term & help improve your lifestyle.
We will reduce the size of the limb by using the following techniques
For more information on our techniques or to make a booking, phone Jo or email [email protected]. Ph: (02) 4384 1501
Mobile: 0404 280 446
For more information on Lymphoedema visit the Australian Lymphoedema Association.
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