Complete Decongestive Therapy is the best lymphedema treatment that is available today. The aim of the treatment is to reduce the swelling and prevent the fluids from pooling in the affected limb. The procedure involves lymphatic massage, compression bandaging, skin care and exercise. If treatment is begun in the early phase, the condition can be reversed. Complete decongestive therapy is a time consuming process that is often uncomfortable and inconvenient. However, it is the only fool proof method which can provide relief to the patient.
Skin hygiene is extremely important to eliminate debris and bacteria that collects on the surface of the skin. Cleansing of skin is essential and regular inspection helps to spot any developing infections like cellulitis. Early treatment of the infection prevents sepsis and other complications that might follow. Keeping the weight under control helps lymphedema patients manage the condition better. It also helps to avoid wearing constricting jewelry or tight clothes so that there is no constriction to the limb. It is best to take extra care to avoid even minor injuries. Even if there is an injury, it must be taken care of, however minor it may seem.
The use of compression garments is considered fundamental in treating lymphedema. These garments must be worn by the patient continuously. At night, the garment can be removed but the affected body part must be kept elevated to encourage the circulation. The compression garment must be properly outfitted so that it gives the best compression. If it is loose, it cannot provide the compression necessary for lymphedema treatment and the fluids will start accumulating in the limb. Besides, an ill-fitting compression garment may cause skin irritation to the patient, which is not a good sign. To stimulate the flow of fluids, regular exercise is a must. Even otherwise, exercising promotes a feeling of well-being that goes a long way in helping the body to heal.
Lymphedema is usually not treated with surgery. Patients who have severe lymphedema that is hampering their daily activities may opt for surgery. In such instances, the volume of the affected limb is reduced with the help of surgery. This may be of assistance to improve the functioning of the extremity to perform the daily activity which would have been impossible otherwise. The surgical procedures may intervene to develop the impaired lymphatic drainage or remove the tissue buildup that hinders functionality.
People try various new methods to manage this ailment which is a lifelong companion for those diagnosed with it. Some herbal extracts are said to reduce inflammation or improve lymphatic flow. Homeopathy is another alternative therapy that some patients advocate. Liposuction, magnetic therapy, acupuncture, Kinesiology, light beam generator therapy and laser treatments are some alternative lymphedema treatment methods that patients try out in their search for a cure for lymphedema.