What is CDT?

Complete Decongestive Therapy is the gold standard for lymphedema management. There are four components of CDT, and all are essential for the best possible outcomes. Lifelong management of lymphedema with CDT can give you independence, empowerment, and an improved quality of life.

Complete Decongestive Therapy Chart

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Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is an intensive therapy program that is divided into two phases: Phase I, the Decongestion phase, and Phase II, the Maintenance phase.

Phase I – Decongestion
The goal of Phase I is to decrease the swelling in the limb to normal size, or as close to normal as possible, while maintaining healthy skin. There are four basic components to Phase I:

Phase II – Maintenance
Once the swelling has decreased from your limb, it is essential to continue your care at home to maintain this reduced size. Unfortunately, the swelling will come back if not managed correctly. The goal of Phase II is to preserve the results of all your hard work in Phase I. Just like the Decongestion Phase, there are four components of Phase II:

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Learn how Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is an integral part in the treatment of lymphedema.

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Learn more about exercise and lymphedema.

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Compression Therapy

Learn the different types of compression therapy used in the management of lymphedema.

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Skin Care

Learn why skin care is important in the care of your lymphedema.

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