Lymphedema Management

What is Lymphedema?

A chronic condition caused from impaired flow of the lymphatic system resulting in swelling of one or more areas in the body, most often the extremities.

Intake and Assessment

The first step in navigating your Lymphedema journey is a detailed health history review and an assessment from one of our Vodder Lymphatic Therapists.

Treatment

The four pillars of Combined/Complex Decongestive Therapy are:

  • Manual Lymph Drainage
  • Bandaging
  • Exercise and weight management
  • Compression

What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a chronic condition caused from impaired flow of the lymphatic system resulting in swelling of one or more areas in the body, most often the extremities. The two classifications are: Primary (congenital) and Secondary (caused by injury to the lymphatic pathways).  It is ideal to treat lymphedema in its earlier stages to prevent it progressing into something more serious. 


Intake and assessment

The treatment of Lymphedema begins with a detailed health history review and an initial assessment with a Lymphatic Therapist.  Based on the needs of the client a treatment plan will be developed by your therapist. 

*The Health History Form is located under the Forms section and can be filled out prior to your appointment.

THE FOUR PILLARS OF CDT

Combined/Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT)


  • Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a gentle and rhythmic massage that is used to stretch and stimulate superficial and deep lymphatic vessels to promote lymph flow. It is used to break up hardening tissue (fibrosis), improve immune system function, as well as reduce cellular waste and antigens. Because of its gentle and rhythmic flow it also allows the client to feel a deep sense of relaxation as it acts to reduce the sympathetic nervous system response (fight or flight), which in turn can decrease the body's inflammation response.
  • Bandaging is applied in the intensive phase when there is a sufficient fluid build up. Daily drainage and bandaging are required until the swelling is reduced. At that time the client can be fitted for compression.
  • Regular exercise and weight management  are important parts of maintaining  a healthy lymphatic flow. During your initial visit your therapist will go over what you can be doing to improve this aspect of your homecare. Check out the Downloads section for recent studies published on this subject.
  • Compression Garments are a key component in maintaining the shape and size of the affected area.  MLD stimulates, bandaging reduces, exercise and diet keep fluid moving, and compression garments are used to maintain and stabilize fluid levels.

Lymphedema Kingston is the name of our in-clinic compression garment provider and is registered as an Assistive Devices Program (ADP) fitter/vendor. The Application for funding for lymphedema compression can be found under the Forms section. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at any time if you would like more information or have questions.