Lymphedema. Current treatment options in cardiovascular medicine Rockson 2000; 2 (3): 237-242


Aggressively applied decongestive measures (eg, manual lymphatic drainage, low-stretch bandaging, exercise, skin care, application of compressive elastic garments) are the mainstay of lymphatic therapy. Therapeutic regimens should differentiate between the goals of acute volume reduction and the maintenance of limb volume. Elastic garments should not be employed until maximal volume reduction has been attained through decongestive lymphatic techniques. It is my opinion that use of intermittent pneumatic compression devices can play an important adjunctive role to decongestive lymphatic therapy but should not be substituted for these techniques. At this time, I am not inclined to use pharmacologic therapy in these patients but anxiously await the results of studies that might demonstrate efficacy for molecular approaches. Surgical intervention is reserved for a small number of well-selected patients. Liposuction for volume reduction appears to be a very promising approach for specific patients.

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