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Lymphedema management: Wrapping leg usin

Decongestive Lymphoedema Therapy (DLT)


Decongestive Lymphoedema Therapy (DLT) is the treatment for Primary or Secondary Lymphoedema, Chronic Oedema and Lipoedema. Upon receiving a positive diagnosis, DLT may be recommended and there are two phases to the Therapy:


Intensive – With your Therapist​​

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

  • Multi-layer limb bandaging

  • Exercises

  • Skin Care

  • Weight Management


Maintenance – Self Management

  • MLD is replaced by SLD (Simple Lymphatic Drainage)

  • Wearing compression garments

  • Self-bandaging/Velcro wraps

  • Daily Skin Care

  • Weight Management


Components of DLT Therapy

MLD – Is a gentle sequenced massage technique used to stimulate and manage lymphatic flow.  The goal of using MLD is to re-route stagnant lymph into healthy vessels which drain into the venous system for elimination by the body. MLD is found to be most effective when used in conjunction with compression bandaging.

MLLB - Multi-layer bandaging is the intensive phase of the treatment and is used to provide compression and support to the underlying tissues. Foam or soft padding under the bandages help increase fluid movement by adding pressure and reducing slippage. Bandaging is performed every day for a minimum of two weeks (excluding weekends).

Exercises - Are used to enhance the efficiency of the muscle pump working against the compression bandages increasing lymph circulation. You will be given individually tailored exercises suited to your particular requirement.

Weight Control/Maintenance - It is very important to maintain a healthy weight. These conditions can be exacerbated as fat cells compress the lymphatics further, reducing and impeding lymphatic flow. A good weight loss/nutritional plan will help before, during and after your intensive treatment.

Compression Garments - At the end of the intensive phase, you will be measured for custom or standard fit compression garments. During the maintenance, self-management phase you should aim to wear your garments daily. Any SLD exercises should be done whilst wearing your compression. It is recommended your garments be replaced every 4-6 months.

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