Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT)

Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT) ; other times described as Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is a combination of manual lymph drainage (MLD), layered compression bandaging, skincare and specific exercises. The aim of DLT is to decongest the tissues of stagnant fluid which may have been sitting there for anything from a few weeks to a few years. The integrity of the skin improves with the improved functioning and drainage of the lymphatic system, thus enhancing the overall status of the immune system. 

Specific movements of the skin stimulate contractions of the lymphatic vessels. This allows for a greater amount of metabolic waste products, excess fluid and other valuable components to be removed from the tissues by the lymphatic system for eventual elimination or redistribution back to the vascular system.

An individual assessment is essential to ascertain suitability for the treatment.
The complete treatment plan will include:

  • written request for medical consensus prior to treatment
  • photographs and measurements before and after the treatment
  • an intensive period of treatment based on individual needs
  • progress report post treatment for referring GP and/or consultant
  • fitting for a make to measure garment or off the shelf garment following initial intensive treatment.

Total costs will be discussed at the initial assessment where the individual needs of the client will determine the number of sessions and bandages required to complete the intensive treatment.

Bandaging : Bandaging increases tissue pressure influencing both lymph and venous return and also softens any skin changes due to the accumulated protein in the tissues ( known as fibrosis)



Process of bandaging with short stretch bandaging

Close up of the hands of a young physiotherapist applying a compression bandage on the leg of a young woman. Physical Therapy. A very specialised type of massage called manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is an important part of the treatment of lymphoedema. This kind of compression bandages are part of this treatment. Studio shot. Grey background. XXXL (Canon Eos 1Ds Mark III)