Complete Decongestive Therapy
Manual Lymph Drainange
What is CDT?
Typical CDT Course of Care:
The typical course for complete decongestive therapy includes 5 times weekly (could be as low as 3 times weekly) manual lymphatic drainage with multi-layered compression bandaging for 4-5 weeks. Visits can be tapered in the later weeks as appropriate.
Bandages are changed every visit to accommodate the shrinking size of the limb. Proper skin care and light exercise must be performed throughout this acute phase for best results. The patient should always be wearing compression except to bathe.
Once a plateau is reached or the patient’s limb has returned to it normal volume, the patient is fitted for a custom compression garment. The most optimal treatment involves the patient obtaining multiple garments to be worn during the day. Since the patient should always be wearing compression, purchasing multiple garments allows for the patient’s need to wash a garment. Additionally, a night garment should be purchased. These garments are more comfortable with more padding, and also have a higher resting pressure than day garments.
The patient must wear these garments indefinitely in order to prevent a return of lymph accumulation in their extremity.