Edema (swelling) can be treated with MLD by itself or with CDT.
Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is specifically designed for edema conditions with certain pathologies such as
-acute/chronic edema (from injury or surgery)
CDT consists of
- Manual Lymph Drainage
- Compression Bandaging
- Skin care
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)
MLD is applied to decrease edema by stimulating or redirecting the flow of lymph.
see here to know more about MLD
Once tissues are stretched to a certain extent, the skin will lose elasticity and cannot recoil to its original state even when edema is eliminated.
The bandage will replace the missing tissue pressure, prevent lymph from refilling in the area, increase lymph flow, and breakdown fibrosis (gel form of lymph).
In the intensive treartment phase, compression bandages are worn between MLD sessions.
Once swelling has gone down, you will be wearing compression garments if edema is chronic.
Skin care is significantly important as the skin is fragile, dry, and vulnerable to infection.
some tips are
-Avoid cuts, bites, sunburns.
-Use unscented soap, moisturize the area.
Skin care instructions will be given at sessions.
Certain exercises will help lymph flow.
Exercises will be given at sessions.
***All CDT treatments require a doctor's note/referral to proceed with treatment.
There are two phases in CDT treatment.
Intensive (Decongestive) phase
When the goal of treatment is to decrease swelling, MLD is done more frequently and compression bandages are worn between sessions.
Frequency, duration, and number of sessions depend on the conditions of edema.
Maintenance Phase (for chronic edema)
Once desired decongestion is achieved, the goal of treatment is to maintain the size of the affected area.
MLD is done less frequently and customized garments are worn in cases such as lymphedema or lipedema.
Cost of Treatment
Unfortunatelly, OHIP does not cover the fee of the treatment.
However, your insurance provider may cover some of the cost of treatment. Please ask your insurance provider for more details.
Also, you can claim MLD/CDT treatment and related costs as medical expenses for your income tax return. Keep all receipts with you for income tax purposes. Often a doctor's note/prescription is needed for tax purposes. Check with your accountant.
There are also community funding supports in Ontario.
Assistive Devices Program (Garments)
Cost of some devices are covered by the ministry of health, assistive devices program.
For example, if you are diagnosed with chronic lymphedema, 75% of the maximum 3 sets of 2 outfits each will be covered within 12 months period.
There are more things that ADP covers.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.