Does MLD really work?: I have lymphoedema in both my... - LSN

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Does MLD really work?


I have lymphoedema in both my legs and currently wear thigh high support stockings to help manage the condition. (I have a love/hate relationship with them! I do everything I can to hide them but cannot bear the thought of not having them on because of the consequences). Anyway, I was wondering if having MLD would really make a difference? As a busy mother of 2 children I cannot see myself doing the whole bandaging thing (can you drive? what do you wear?), so I was wondering if any of you could give me some advice on your experiencyes of MLD.

6 Replies

Hi Colly. MLD is a very valuable tool in the management of lymphoedema- research shows it works best as part of an intensive course of treatment such as bandaging but many people do find that it works to soften tissue and help maintain the skin condition on an on going basis - it doesn't work for everyone and unfortunately will never replace the use of compression. It is also not readily available on the NHS and prices for treatment vary around the country. If you do decide to give it a go please make sure that you choose a therapists who is registered with MLD uk they have a list on thier web site or the LSN office can look it up for you, as you can be assured that they will be suitably qualified.

Hello Colly- I have primary lymphodema in both legs and although it was nearly 20yrs I can say I did get a lot of benefit from it. Mine was a reflexologist who had MLD experience which at that time lymphodema was a lesser known subject to what it is now! My appointment was during a hot summer and at the time I had 1-2yr old twins and my feet and legs were really tight and in dispair I went. It was wonderful to just relax a while and the lady was really good. I was amazed as she told me two points of my blockages, which was one behind my right knee and one in my left hip. I felt them pop when she got to those points! When she had finished my sandles were too big and my legs and feet remained 'normal' for a good few days which made me feel a lot more comfortable. Ideally she wanted me to go for a six week period to really get on top of controlling the problem, but unfortunately at £30 a session I was unable to do the follow up. I would seriously think about it as I now realise that with both MLD and compression it would make a considerable difference.

Good luck and I hope this helps with your decission but obviously as the LSN above say it doesn't work for everyone but I think what have you got to lose by trying?

i was told not possible via nhs in my area and i cant afford to pay having had to give my job up, good luck if you can get it.


MLD works for me as I have Breast and Chest Wall Lymphoedema. It stops the areas becoming solid and keeps everything soft and supple. My husband and I have both been taught to do SLD (Simple Lymph Drainage) on a daily basis which helps in between treatment. The hardest part is keeping up with both the MLD and SLD but in my opinion for me it works.

I have to say, that I absolutely swear by MLD, but it only works if you wear stockings all day everyday, which you do. When I was first diagnosed 5 years ago I was having MLD once a now, now I only need to go once every 6-8 weeks because the treatment helped reduced the swelling that much. It even meant that I could go travelling round South East Asia for 3 months recently.

But for it to work you need to make sure your stockings don't lose compression and also a great little tip, if you have the time, go swimming. Just once or twice a week wearing an old stocking will do wonders.

I had MLD 10 years ago it was effective but needs to be done on a regular basis.

This must be done before being fitted for compression garments.

MLD gives the lymphatic system a boost.

Due to cut backs I have been told by the Clinic this is no longer available on the NHS.

MLD has to be done by a special trained nurse.

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