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Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT)

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Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT) - formerly known as Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) - is a combination of treatments designed to decrease lymphoedema swelling in limbs and body.

It consists of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), skin care and multi-layer bandaging.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

The original Vodder method of MLD as long been used to decrease lymphoedema, and then to maintain the decrease. It is a very light massage which doesn't use any oils; it is a deeply relaxing therapy and extremely effective in the reduction of oedema (swelling).

Skin care

With lymphoedema the skin requires better than normal skin care  and hygiene to minimise the risk of infections.  This will involve regular moisturising, and perhaps anti-fungal medication too.

Multi-layer bandaging

After the MLD session the affected limb(s) will be carefully bandaged in multi-layer bandaging.  There are many types of bandage and the most appropriate of them will be chosen for your situation.

The amount of time required for bandaging can vary, but assume approximately 30 minutes for a small limb (such as an arm) and up to an hour for a large, heavy or misshapen limb.

Compression hosiery and/or sleeve

Halfway through this first intensive phase of your treatment you will be measured for your compression garments, which should then be available for you to take home with you at the end of the initial treatment period.

What to expect with this treatment

The treatment starts with a full assessment - this can take between 1½ to 2 hours; we will discuss your medical history and I will need your GP’s details.  Your treatment details will be discussed with you and will take into consideration any other therapies which will help.  Following the assessment you will commence daily DLT sessions, usually during the morning.

Your limbs will be measured for volume and, with your permission, we will take photographs of your affected limb(s).  All photographs are kept in your confidential file for before-and-after comparison when your treatment is completed.

Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT)

Treatment period

In order to maximise the benefits of DLT the initial intensive phase of treatment will involve daily treatments for a period of up to 3 weeks.

The second, follow-up phase will require one DLT session every week for a period of 4 weeks.

The third, maintenance phase will initially require one DLT session every two weeks for a period of 2 months.

Thereafter appointments can be made according to how well you are managing; most patients maintain quite well with one DLT session every 3-4 weeks providing they are good about wearing their compression garments.

Please note:

Bandages and compression garments (hosiery or sleeves) are invoiced separately, or a prescription can be requested from your G.P.

If you have any bandages at home please bring them with you for use during your treatment; this will help minimise costs.



1 hour treatment