Have you been told -
There is nothing else that can be done about your swelling?

Have you tried support hose, elevation and medications but still suffer with swelling?

Now there is hope. 

Self Care Therapy offers a specialized treatment method called Complete Decongestive Therapy by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.

What is Complete Decongestive Therapy?

Since there is no cure for lymphedema, the goal of the therapy is to reduce the swelling and to maintain the reduction. For the majority of the patients this can be achieved by the skillful application of this therapy, which is safe, reliable and non-invasive. CDT shows good long term results in both primary and secondary lymphedema as well as many forms of edema (swelling). It consists of two phases and the following combined modalities.

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD): This gentle manual treatment technique increases the activity of certain lymph vessels and manually moves the fluid from the skin and out of the body. Applied correctly, a series of MLD treatments decreases the swelling of the arm or leg to a normal or near normal size and is applied 5x/wk in the first phase of the therapy.


Compression Therapy:
The elastic fibers in the skin are damaged in lymphedema and other forms of swelling. In order to prevent she swelling from coming back it is necessary to apply sufficient compression to the arm or leg. Compression therapy also improves the function of the muscle pumps, helps to reduce fibrotic tissue and promotes venous and lymphatic return. In the first phase of CDT compression therapy is achieved with the application of special short-stretch bandages. These bandage materials are used between MLD treatments to prevent the swelling from coming back. Once the hand or foot has no swelling, the patient wears compression garments during the day. In some cases it may be necessary for the patient to additionally apply bandages during nighttime. In order to achieve best results, specially trained personnel should take measurements for these elastic support garments; incorrectly fitted sleeves or stockings will have negative effects. Since compression garments can be challenging to put on, a complete program should include patient or caregiver training in adapted techniques to put on garments.


A customized exercise program is designed by the therapist for each patient. These decongestive exercises aid the effects of the joint and muscle pumps and should be performed by the patient wearing the compression bandage or garment.

Skin care:
The skin in lymphedema or other swelling is very susceptible to infections and usually dry. A low-pH lotion, free of alcohol and fragrances is used to avoid skin cracking and resulting in infections.


Compression garments: Fitting of the right compression garment is essential to prevent return or edema. It is also important to learn how to put the garments on and take them off. For Complete Decongestive Therapy to be complete, your therapist should follow up with you to make sure the compression garments are working and you are able to manage the edema independently. 

Complete Decongestive Therapy    (CDT)        

Before CDT

After CDT

CALL:  910-798-4051 


FAX DOCTORS ORDER TO:  910-338-0424 

Self Care Therapy

Phone: 910-798-4051
Fax: 910-338-0424
Wilmington, NC