What can be done for Lymphedema?
There is no cure for lymphedema. Various medical interventions have been tried time and again such as:
a) Lymphovenous Anastomosis – the surgeon attaches a lymphatic vessel to a vein to allow for better drainage.
b) Lympho-lymphatic Anastomosis – a lymphatic vessel is attached to a bigger lymphatic vessel.
c) Liposuction – small needles are inserted into the affected limb(s) in order to suction out excess fluid.
2. Drugs – Several drugs are being studied as to their efficacy in decreasing the effects of lymphedema. The most popular ones are the benzopyrones and the Daflon 500. However, the results are still pending as previous studies have shown liver toxicity as one of the complications of the drugs. Most of the studies show that the drugs are going to be more effective if taken in conjunction with manual lymph drainage or complex decongestive physiotherapy.
3. Conservative Treatment – This includes manual lymph drainage, pressotherapy (compression bandaging and/or compression pump), skincare program and therapeutic exercises. So far, this has proven to be the most effective of the treatments. There are several techniques that are being performed right now. All of them are effective despite the differences that each technique has from one another. It is important, though, that patients look for therapists who are qualified and are certified to perform the technique.