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How can lymphedema be treated?

In our recent blog post we discussed what lymphedema is and who is affected by lymphedema. Here we discuss the treatment options available for individuals suffering with lymphedema.

Can lymphedema be treated?

This simple answer here is yes it can! There are different ways of treating it depending upon the severity of the symptoms. For example:

  • Compression garments – Compression can help to reduce and control lymphedema. It puts pressure on tissues to stop fluid build-up and encourages fluid to drain.

  • Complex Decongestive Therapy, or CDT - This treatment therapy involves skin care, manual lymph drainage, special compression bandaging, specific exercises and fitting for a compression garment.

  • Liposuction - Once lymphatic fluid spills into your surrounding tissues, it can cause inflammation and stimulate fat stem cells to grow. Your surgeon will remove this extra fat caused by lymphedema.

  • Lymphaticovenous anastomosis (lymphovenous bypass) - Using microsurgical techniques and equipment to reroute your lymphatic system, bypassing damaged nodes and connecting lymphatic channels directly into your veins.

  • Vascularized lymph node transfer surgery (lymphovenous transplant) – Surgery involves transplanting a group of lymph nodes from a healthy part of your body to the affected area, effectively rewiring the lymphatic system.

The goals of the above treatments are to improve a patients quality of life so they can maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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