For decades manual lymphatic drainage has been known as basic therapy in lymphology. By softly massaging the skin, the lymphtherapist will activate the lymph vessels‘ capacity to transport the fluid back to the heart. In the end the fluid is transported back from the lipedemic extremity into the circulatory system of the blood circulation. In order to maintain this effect, a compression of the lipedemic extremity is absolutely necessary. It is carried through in the so-called acute phase by applying compression bandaging and compression bolsters to certain areas of the extremity. The acute phase comes to an end once the dimension of the extremity can no longer be improved and a maximum decompression has been achieved. Then compression bandaging is replaced by compression stockings for arms or legs.                             


Manual lymphatic drainage and compression have to be supported by an excellent skin care to avoid infections on the swollen extremities. These methods are summarised unter the concept of complex decompression therapy and constitute the conservative treatment of lymphoedema.


  • In addition to the complex decompression therapy, mechanically intermitting compression can be used. However, the performance of any apparatus can never replace the work of the physiotherapist.