Let us help you reduce your swelling.
What is Decongestive Therapy?
Decongestive therapy is available at Encompass Healthcare and Wound Medicine in West Bloomfield, Michigan in our outpatient office so that you don’t have to go to the hospital.
Complete decongestive therapy (CDT) is an intensive program that reduces swelling, usually in the legs. CDT combines many of the different treatment approaches discussed in this section to reverse the most common cause of venous stasis, non-healing ulcers: LEG SWELLING. This conservative approach may include bandaging, compression garments, pneumatic compression devices, and manual lymphatic drainage.
The most common cause of non-healing ulcers of the legs is venous stasis or malfunctioning vein valves that are supposed to maintain blood flow in one direction….up. Failure of the valves leads to reflux of blood and fluid leaking into the soft tissues of the legs.
At Encompass Healthcare, we use the latest advancements in decongestive therapy including:
Tubigrip™ elasticated tubular bandages.
An unna boot is a special medicine-impregnated gauze used to treat venous stasis ulcers through a stretch compression that eases leg swelling (fluids) back into the veins of the leg. The gauze is saturated with a white thick creamy mixture of zinc oxide to promote healing. Since venous stasis ulcers arise from fluid leakage into the leg’s soft tissues, reversing this through use of an unna boot will conservatively aid healing.
It is used to treat venous stasis ulcers in the lower leg. Other conservative therapies such as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD,) or a multiple layer compression therapies such as Coban wraps may also be used.
Once the boot has successfully healed the venous ulcer, a pneumatic compression pump may be prescribed for use at home to support venous insufficiency and prevent further recurrence of a venous stasis ulcer.
For extreme cases of venous insufficiency, in-office, minimally invasive venous ablation may be used.
Multi-Layer Compression Wrapping
Venous stasis ulcers which can arise from edema or lymphedema can be treated with multi-layer compression wrapping. The idea is to control the swelling (edema) and reduce swelling by using elastic stockings or an appropriate bandage. They are usually made of different materials and maybe two, three or four layers.
One can divide compression wrapping products into different categories: elastic versus inelastic; short versus long stretch; high compression versus mild versus low; single layer versus multi-layer; and stockings or bandages versus pumps. The products vary in their actions and pressures, but are generally classified based on the level of compression provided at the ankle.
These compression wraps for edema and wound healing typically stays on for three days to a full week. It is important that the compression wrap stay clean and dry.
This is just one way that we address venous stasis ulcers (leg ulcers.) Other medical modalities include the unna boot, manual lymphatic drainage, pneumatic compression pumps, diuretics, and venous ablation.
Pneumatic Compression Pumps
Pneumatic compression pumps treat vein problems (venous insufficiency) by compressing the lower extremities. The pneumatic compression pump automatically inflates and deflates to force fluids back into the veins. This may be helpful to maintain the benefits achieved with decongestive therapy for a patient who suffers from venous insufficiency, a condition where the valves inside veins are impaired.
With pneumatic pumps, patients place their legs in special sleeves that are attached to a small, portable pump. The sleeves have built-in compartments that fill with air and then deflate sequentially to push fluids up the legs. Most insurance carriers will cover this pump for use at home.
Diuretics is one medical modality for treating edema or venous insufficiency. They work by making you urinate to get rid of water your body is holding onto, thus allowing the swelling to be relieved. One of the most common types is furosemide (Lasix).