What is the lymphedema treatment process?
The medi® lymphedema therapy concept is a comprehensive approach in the treatment of lymphedema that provides the right products for each stage of treatment, from the decongestion phase, through the transition phase and finally with the maintenance phase.
Decongestion Phase Lymphedema: An introduction to treatment plan and limb reduction
The aim is to reduce the circumference of the affected limbs. So, in the first phase of complex physical decongestion therapy (CPD), manual, whole-body lymphatic drainage is performed once or twice a day to promote the return transport of the fluid away from the tissues. Compression is applied after each treatment session and supported by special exercises. When beginning treatment, skin conditions such as fissures or athlete’s foot are treated intensively because inflammation can cause additional damage. Consistent skin hygiene and care are also important throughout the treatment process. Only pH-neutral cleansing products and creams may be used.
Transition Phase Lymphedema: The adjustment from clinical care to self-care
Once the affected limb volumes have plateaued, there is an important period when patients must transition from an in-clinic treatment program to a self-management program. Education is a key component to an independent life with lymphedema by implementing a manual lymphatic drainage program. Skincare, nutrition, and the development of good compression habits are essential to the progression to independence.
Maintenance Phase Lymphedema: Long-term independent management of lymphedema
The aim of phase three is to maintain the successes and results gained throughout the clinical treatment process. During the maintenance phase, manual lymphatic drainage should be given at least once a week in winter and twice a week in summer. The additional treatment measures such as special skin care and exercises must not be neglected either.
Compression stockings are available by prescription from medi authorized dealers or medical retailers such as durable medical stores, specialty pharmacies, or orthotic and prosthetic centers with trained individuals who take measurements and provide billing options.