Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy

Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy

I also offer a specialist therapy Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT), which includes MLD.

Lymphoedema is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a damaged lymphatic system. Most commonly lymphoedema arises in the arms or legs.

DLT or Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy, is the recognised gold standard treatment for primary and secondary lymphoedema.

Primary lymphoedema is a condition that people are born with where the lymphatic system is unable to function normally. This can be apparent at birth or can arise later in life when some event or trauma can tip the balance of the lymphatic system beyond its capacity.

Secondary lymphoedema arises after surgery, where radiation treatment or trauma has damaged the lymphatic system (For example after mastectomy and axilliary lymph node removal).

Sometimes years later a small injury to the arm can result in swelling. If left, over time the oedema can change to a more permanent fibrosis with complications of infections and ulcers etc. If treated early these conditions can be controlled and managed.

DLT is composed of four parts:

1. Manual Lymph Drainage massage – To reduce oedema

2. Compression bandaging/ garments – To prevent oedema recurring

3. Skin care – To prevent complications like cellulitis

4. Exercise – To promote the natural function of the lymph system to reabsorb the oedema


I offer DLT at my local clinics. With more complex and advanced conditions (for example, in combination with ulcers) I work with specialist wound healing or tissue viability nurses. It may be possible to get bandages and compression garments prescribed by your GP.