Complete Decongestive Therapy

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)

Blue Lotus Wellness Complete Decongestive Therapy includes all the components for the treatment of lymphedema.

Skin Care – Good skin care is paramount for the treatment of lymphedema. Clean, moisturized skin helps maintain the integrity of the skin and prevents infectious organisms from entering the blood system through breaks in the skin. A low pH lotion such as Lubriderm or Eucerin should be applied to clean skin to help maintain the moisture barrier.
Manual Lymph Drainage(MLD) – Application of manual techniques by a trained therapist to improve the activity of lymph vessels, mobilize lymph fluid, re-route lymph flow as needed, and improve removal of lymph fluid through the venous system.
Compression – Once a reduction of lymph fluid is achieved through MLD, appropriate compression (NOT ACE bandages) needs to be applied to maintain the fluid reduction and prevent re-accumulation of fluid. Unfortunately, MLD alone does not manage the swelling caused by lymphedema. A variety of compression options are available including bandaging, garments, bandage alternatives, or a combination of techniques.
Manual Lymph Drainage
Decongestive Exercises – Exercises are an integral component of lymphedema management. They are simple but need to be performed while wearing compression so that muscles can contract against the compression bandages or garments to help the effectiveness of fluid movement through the muscle pump. The exercises should not be strenuous or highly repetitive during the decongestion phase of treatment.
Lymphedema Compression Bandage
Compression Bandaging

The primary reasons CDT fails include

  • Lack of compliance
  • Improper treatment (such as MLD only)
  • Other associated medical conditions (especially cardiac conditions)
  • Maligancies

Dr. Margaret Latham is trained in all the components of CDT as well as the treatment of vascular wounds that may be present. She provides client education throughout the process so that clients can independently manage this lifelong condition and refers clients to physician services as needed or to manage other conditions.

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