Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
What is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)?
CDT a specialised therapy to improve (medically diagnosed) lymphoedema by reducing the volume of fluid within the affected body part. Complete Decongestive Therapy has two distinct phases: Intensive & Maintenance.
Both phases include the use of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) treatment alongside the application of compression between treatments.
Intensive Phase CDT typically involves 5-6 MLD treatments per week for several weeks, with bandaging of the affected limb/body area by the therapist after each MLD session to prevent fluid removed by the MLD from returning before the next treatment. Part-way through Intensive Phase CDT patients are usually measured for bespoke Compression Garments which they transition to at the end of their Intensive Phase.
Maintenance Phase CDT then involves regular MLD sessions as needed (eg monthly) to prevent fluid from returning to the previously congested area, but does not involve bandaging by the therapist after each session as the patient will be wearing their custom-made compression garments on a regular basis.
CDT helps to:
- reduce the volume of lymphoedema
- lessen the risk of cellulitis developing
- improve range of motion in the affected area and therefore improve general mobility
If you have diagnosed lymphoedema which requires volume reduction, please initially make contact by phone, email or WhatsApp to arrange a brief phone conversation with the therapist. After a few points of clarification you will be offered a Consultation Appointment at the practice to discuss practical logistics, potential scheduling & costs. Detailed physical measurements of your lymphoedema's volume will need to be taken and recorded and any necessary coordination required with your primary health care team will be clarified (eg your doctors may need to clear you for CDT if you have other serious health issues, and a GP would usually need to prescribe the required bandages ahead of treatment commencing).
Please note that CDT Consultation Appointments are NOT bookable via our online booking system and do not include an MLD treatment. CDT Consultation Appointments cost £85.
Following a CDT Consultation Appointment you will understand how long each of your MLD treatment & bandaging sessions should take & what that would cost per visit, also what the specific practicalities for you might be, dependent on your profile. It is not possible to accurately predict how many CDT sessions anyone will need due to so many variables including the oedema placement, tissue firmness, existing comorbidities & adherence to treatment requirements; an initial commitment of about 3 weeks can however be used as a general rule of thumb.