What Are Lymphedema Treatments?
Lymphedema treatment will look different for everyone, depending on what part of your body is affected and how severe your symptoms are. In addition to taking the right steps to prevent your lymphedema from worsening, it’s also important to find the right course of treatment.
A professional lymphedema therapist can provide decongestive therapy. Through decongestive therapy, your therapist will perform a specific type of massage that redirects the flow of fluids away from the swollen region to reduce swelling. A therapist may also provide instructions of how to perform decongestive therapy massage techniques, known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), that you can perform at home, along with other forms of at-home treatments, such as:
- Exercise: Exercising regularly helps to improve flexibility and strength, which can encourage drainage of the lymph fluid.
- Wear compression garments: Your doctor may recommend wearing a compression garments such as compression stockings, multi-layer bandages, or other compression garments to prevent the build-up of fluid.
- Elevate the affected area: In the beginning stages of lymphedema, elevating the affected area can help to reduce swelling. Keeping the area raised gives gravity the chance to drain the lymph fluid.
- Use a lymphedema pump: Using a lymphedema pump can help to increase the flow of lymph fluid and keep the fluids from accumulating in the affected area.
Daily maintenance is essential to treating your lymphedema and living a healthy and happy life. Lymphedema pumps, also called pneumatic compression devices, fit over extremities that are affected by lymphedema, such as your arms and legs. Then, an air pump fills the device chambers with air which applies a gentle pressure to move excess fluid and relieve symptoms. Using a lymphedema pump is a great way to alleviate symptoms of lymphedema right from your home. Another component of treatment is compression bandages, which help reduce the amount of fluid and prevent it from refilling or building up.
In some cases of lymphedema, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment. Surgical treatment is more common in the latter two stages, but can be performed in earlier stages. if surgery is needed, procedures can include:
- Vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT)
- Lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA)
To prevent lymphedema from progressing to more severe stages, it’s important to take preventative measures, such as treating and managing symptoms from the start. At Tactile Medical, our at-home lymphedema solutions can help you alleviate discomfort, relieve pain, and improve mobility challenges.
In addition to the above treatment methods, there are various other ways to treat lymphedema at home, such as with Tactile Medical’s lymphedema pumps. Tactile Medical’s lymphedema treatment recommendations include following a prescribed treatment with your pump to reduce swelling and encourage the flow of lymph fluid. Tactile Medical has compression pumps for every area of the body, including the upper body, lower body, and head and neck.
If you have swelling in your lower body, upper body, or your head and neck, Tactile Medical’s pneumatic compression device gently assists in the drainage of excess fluid through a dynamic work and release action.