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Complete Decongestive Therapy for
Lymphedema Treatment

CDT is the most effective treatment for chronic extremity lymphedema. Primary lymphedema (congenital) and secondary lymphedema (due to a damaged lymphatic system) respond exceptionally well to this gentle, non-invasive, and highly-effective therapy. CDT is sometimes referred to as Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy.


230+ Already

Block 1: 25-26 May, 2024
Block 2: 8-9 June, 2024
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Loay Karam

  • Diploma Degree and certified international instructor in Complex decongestion Therapy, University of Applied Science, Graz, Austria

  • Lymphedema consultant: Primephysio Clinics

  • Compression Category Manager L&R MEA

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Lymphoedema: A Chronic Disease

Lymphoedema is an independent, chronic disease of the skin, subcutaneous tissue and inner organs. A diseased lymph vessel system is unable to fulfill the task of volumetric regulation and homeostasis. Protein-rich fluid accumulates in the tissue and leads to changes in the basic substance, the cell population and an increased formation of fibers. Untreated lymphoedema will always progress. Lymphoedema may occur in all regions of the body, but it is the limbs that are most commonly affected. Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is embedded in a fully holistic concept and is recognized as today's basis for conservative lymphoedema treatment today. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a significant part of CDT, but it is primarily the practical combination of the further measures that makes CDT an effective, direct and comprehensive treatment of Lymphoedema.


Walking away from this course, you will be able to:

  • Understand and differentiate between lymphoedema, and oedema.

  • Identify treatment components of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) – Skin Care, Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), Bandaging, and Exercise.

  • Introduction to manual lymphatic drainage techniques for upper and lower limbs according to Vodder’s Techniques.

  • Demonstrate basic multi-layer lymphoedema bandaging by creating an effective, graduated compression system for the arm and leg.

  • Demonstrate MLD and compression therapy for several case studies.

CDT consists of the following four components:

1- Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)


MLD is a very gentle manual treatment that improves the function of the lymphatic system throughout the body. In lymphedema therapy, MLD is used to re-route lymph flow around blocked areas and into healthy lymph vessels which drain into the venous circulation. MLD is also an effective treatment for post-surgical swelling, post-traumatic edema (as with sports injuries), other conditions involving edema.

2- Compression Therapy


Compression therapy increases tissue pressure and improves the efficiency of the muscle and joint pump. Multi-layered compression bandages are applied between MLD treatments to help prevent re-accumulation of evacuated fluid. Once the patient’s limb is sufficiently decongested through repeated treatments, it can fit with compression garments.

3- Exercises


Exercises are performed with compression bandages in place to activate the muscle and joint pumps of the affected extremity. This results in an increase in lymphatic system activity and further reduction of the swollen limb over time.

4- Skin Care


Skin care and general hygiene are essential to eliminate bacterial and fungal growth which can cause repeated attacks of cellulitis or erysipelas. Infections are very common complications of lymphedema so meticulous skin and nail care is a vital component of treatment.

Each participant will be trained in the four components of Complete Decongestive Therapy.

Upon completion of the class, the therapist will be able to:

  • Identify the components of the lymphatic system and its function.

  • Identify various medical conditions that can lead to the development of edema and lymphedema.

  • Differentiate between a variety of peripheral edemas and identify necessary treatment strategies for each condition.

  • Identify the application, medical indications, and contraindications for Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).

  • Identify various compression therapy application strategies for patients with lymphedema and chronic venous insufficiency.

  • Identify the most effective lymphedema treatment protocols based on current evidence.

  • Establish CDT treatment plans for individuals with primary and secondary lymphedema.

  • Effectively perform MLD sequences for patients with primary and secondary lymphedema and post-traumatic and post-surgical edema.

  • Competently apply short-stretch compression bandaging systems for patients with upper and lower extremity lymphedema.

Topics to be covered:

  • Course opening

  • Introduction to the anatomy of the lymphatic system.

  • Physiology and pathophysiology of the lymphatic system, lymphedema types, diagnosis, and treatment.

  • Principles of MLD.

  • MLD for the neck and upper limb.

  • MLD for face, chest, and back upper limb case studies.

  • Compression therapy principals and products.

  • Application of Compression Therapy for the upper limb.

  • Application of a complete session for one of the case studies (upper limb).

  • MLD for the abdominal region and lower limb.

  • Compression therapy for the lower limb.

  • Upper limb case studies.

  • Application of complete a session for one of the case studies (upper limb).

This course has been developed to introduce healthcare practitioners to the best practice internationally for patients with lymphoedema. The training consists of thorough research-based information.

Who can attend:



  • Graduates

  • internship students.

The program includes

  • Four busy days of face-to-face practice-based learning.

  • Final formative practical assessment.

  • Certificate of achievement by Primephysio Training UK.

For inquiries & booking:

For inquiries & booking please contact the Primephysio Training UK office in Egypt.

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