Combined Decongestive Therapy is used primarily in the treatment of lymphoedema and venous insufficiency oedema. It combines Manual Lymphatic Drainage technique (see MLD) with bandaging, exercises and skin care. It may also include breathing exercises and compressive garments.
This treatment is undertaken in the full knowledge of your medical practitioner.
One of the most frequent indications for this therapy is lymphoedema resulting either from radiation or cancer surgery. CDT has been shown to relieve the pain and discomfort that accompany oedema and fibrosis.
CDT is a very intense treatment where you are seen daily for 2-3 weeks in order to give the oedema the best possible chance of reducing and then being managed. You will need to exercise the affected limb in between sessions in order to further stimulate the lymphatic vessel muscles and so contribute again to the reduction of the oedema.
The first session is a consultation and lasts up to 2 hours in which you will be asked general questions about your health and specifically about the history of your lymphoedema. You will also have plenty of opportunity to ask questions and obtain more information. The details of your treatment will be discussed in full. CDT treatment is provided holistically - treating you as a whole person, not merely as a series of symptoms.
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