The word “lymphedema” means swelling (edema) that results from the pooling of too much lymph fluid in areas of the body. This swelling occurs most often in the arms and legs, but it can also affect the face, neck, abdomen, or genitals. It is estimated that 5 million Americans suffer from lymphedema – resulting from cancer treatment - or other risk factors, including genetics, being overweight or obese and other health problems like heart or circulation issues.
Lymphedema can be complicated to treat, which is why you should see your medical professional for appropriate options as there are many variables, techniques and specialized treatments for lymphedema.
The most common procedure for managing lymphedema is called Complex or Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).
CDT has two phases: phase l, reduction and phase ll, maintenance, each consisting of four elements. All the elements have specific contributions and can only be effective if applied together. The four elements of CDT are:
- Skin Care
- Manual lymph drainage (MLD)
- Compression therapy
- Exercise therapy
Short stretch bandaging is used in the reduction phase. Once the swelling is reduced and stabilized, the limb can then be fitted for a special compression garment, such as the FarrowWrap® OTS Arm for extremity edema/lymphedema and the FarrowWrap® 4000 compression leg piece. These garments will help control your condition.