The most important single component among treatment for lymphoedema is compression. Bandaging is the most important treatment modality for the intensive phase, especially in moderate to severe forms of lymphoedema. In this treatment phase, short stretch bandages will be applied by expert therapists for a period of time. Usually I bandage for 5 days per week, for 2 weeks. At Medical Therapies, I prefer the use of foam padding as an under layer which helps with not only fluid movement but will also reshape the limb.
This foam will differ dependent on the size of the swelling i.e.: less swelling will only require a thin layer of foam. Whereas more established, chronic lymphoedema with skin and tissue changes will require a thicker, denser foam. Then, layers of short stretch bandages will be applied. However, despite the initial apparent bulkiness of the bandages, you will still be able to move. And will be encouraged to do specific exercises to aid the outcome of the treatment.
I find that by using the foam and multilayers of short stretch bandages, which are re-applied daily for two weeks (excluding weekends), that the patient is more comfortable and the outcomes are better, than by using some of the other bandaging systems. To attain the best results, I request commitment to attend every day for the time specified. Otherwise the outcome may be compromised. And, ultimately I want you, the patient, to get the best outcome possible from your treatment.