There’s no cure for lymphedema. Treatment is typically focused on managing and reducing swelling and discomfort from the condition. Your physician may recommend:
- Light exercise. Non-strenuous exercises in which you move your swelled limp may encourage excess lymph fluid to drain. Weight loss through exercise can help.
- Wrapping the affected limb(s). This encourages fluid to flow back to your trunk.
- Massage therapy. A special type of massage involving manual lymph drainage may help with the flow of fluid out of your affected leg or arm.
- Raising the limb and systematic use of a lymphatic sleeve. A pneumatic compression sleeve or compression garments will aid the flow of lymph fluid to your trunk.
- If an infection has occurred, antibiotics are administered or sometimes diuretics are used.
If your lymphedema is severe, your doctor may recommend surgery as a means to remove excess arm or leg tissue.
NOTE: If you have lymphedema, it is extremely important that you practice excellent hygiene and watch for signs of skin breakdown, infection, or injury to the affected limbs.