The Portsmouth Regional Hospital Center for Rehabilitation and Wellness offers complete decongestive therapy (CDT), involving manual lymph drainage (MLD) for lymphedema. This treatment requires the skills of a certified CDT/MLD therapist, who directs the lymphatic fluid to intact lymph nodes and helps reduce the swelling associated with lymphedema.

Lymphedema involves fluid retention and swelling in the arms, legs and other parts of the body related to nearby lymph nodes. Although lymphedema can occur anywhere in the body when lymph nodes are removed, it most often affects individuals who've been treated for breast cancer, prostate cancer and chronic venous insufficiency.

If you've been diagnosed with lymphedema, the condition must be managed for the rest of your life. The good news is that the swelling may be controlled effectively with treatment.

What to Expect from CDT & MLD

Complete decongestive therapy is a highly successful treatment for lymphedema. CDT consists of manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression therapy using multilayered bandages, remedial exercises and skin care.

At your first visit, the therapist will evaluate your condition and discuss your treatment goals. Your treatment may involve MLD, bandaging, education, intermittent pressure therapy, exercise and the measurement and fitting of a compression garment. You'll be trained in compression bandaging, exercises and skin care. The goal of treatment is to help you become independent in managing your condition.

Check our online Health Library for more information about lymphedema.