Now having said that I would like to address treatment which is often called Complete Decongestive Therapy consisting of manual lymph drainage, compression therapy, exercises and skin care. it is administered in two phases: a clinical phase and a home care phase all of which are prescribed by the patient's physician and qualified therapist.
Initial treatment is by a qualified lymphedema therapist which consists of 2-6 weeks of frequent manual lymph drainage sessions and decongestion exercises as well as compression bandaging. After the initial s welling is reduced the patient is measure for a compression grament and continues self-treatment at home. The goal is to transfer responsibility for ongoing treatment to the patient and thereby lessoning the burden on the healthcare system.
When lymphedema is untreated, you can have increased swelling and hardening or fibrosis of the tissues and can even lead to decrease or loss of functioning, skin breakdown, chronic infections and irreversible complications.
All of these things does cause difficulties in daily living and can limit your lifestyle. Treatment is important in order to halt and reduce the progression and to reduce and prevent complications.
Legislation is needed since lymphedema affects up to 3 million of medicare beneficiaries who receive substandard treatment accordking to the current medical standard of care. Medicare does not currently cover the compression garments and bandages and only covers or pays for statutorily limited therapy and sequesntila compression pumps. A lymphedema treatment mandate went into effect in NC on January of 2010. There is legislation at this time for Lymphedema Diagnosis and treatment Cost Saving Act of 2011, HR 2499 which will improve coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema. Theis is a preventative treatment bill that will reduce health care costs while improving patient care and quality of life. With that being said it is important for you to learn as much as you can about this and contact your senators and representatives to support this endeavor. I hope you will make the time and effort to look at Lymphedema Diagnosis and Treatment Cost Saving Act, HR 2499, 112th Congress, Representative Larry Kissell (NC-8).
Making it a great day!