Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) surgery is part of Dr. Granzow’s FLOSM comprehensive lymphedema treatment system.
Dr. Granzow pioneered the first comprehensive lymphedema treatment system which fully integrates lymphedema surgeries and lymphedema therapy, known as the Functional Lymphatic Operations (FLO)SM System. Dr. Granzow’s treatment system has been consistent and effective in treating lymphedema patients from all over the world.
What makes Dr. Granzow’s lymphedema treatment system unique is his focus on matching the type of lymphedema treatment and surgery to each patient’s condition to produce the maximum effectiveness. The fact is that no single procedure is effective for all cases of lymphedema.
Currently lymphedema is thought by most authorities to be a permanent problem with little hope for a permanent cure. The mainstay of treatment has been non-surgical, massage-type therapy. This can be performed by a therapist with special training and may involve the use of special sequential pumps and devices.
MLD is a massage type therapy designed to move the lymphatic fluid and proteins out of the affected area and back into the circulation.
Complete decongestive therapy (CDT) may combine MDL, bandaging and compression garment therapy, breathing exercises and dietary measures.
NATIONAL LYMPHEDEMA NETWORK POSITION PAPER
The following information was found in the position paper by the National Lymphedema Network:
Lymphedema (LE) is a chronic condition characterized by the abnormal accumulation of interstitial fluid due to insufficiency of the lymphatic system. Lymphatic dysfunction may be related to primary malformation of the lymphatic system, or to secondary causes. The leading cause of LE in the United States today is cancer and its treatment.
The progression of LE is characterized by swelling, as well as changes of the skin and subcutaneous tissue.1 Changes typically manifest as roughness, dryness, and hardening of the skin.2 Limbs may become grossly enlarged and distorted in contour with exaggerated skin creases, folds, and lobules.3 Progressive LE may be complicated by medical morbidity including recurrent tissue infections and non-healing wounds. Functional, psychological, and social morbidity can occur as well. LE has no cure but can be successfully managed following timely diagnosis with appropriate treatment. Diagnosis may require evaluation by a physician with expertise in LE and, when indicated, diagnostic testing.
TREATMENT OF LE: COMPLETE DECONGESTIVE THERAPY (CDT)
CDT is comprised of an initial reductive phase (Phase I) followed by an ongoing, individualized maintenance phase (Phase II). 4
The primary goals of CDT are to:
- Decrease edema
- Increase lymph drainage from the congested areas5
- Reduce subdermal fibrosis
- Improve the skin condition
- Enhance patient’s functional status6
- Enable the patient to adhere to an independent self-care program