domingo, 7 de octubre de 2018

WHY IS THE WORLD NOT TREATING A TREATABLE DISEASE LIKE LYMPHEDEMA - Turning a blind eye to elephantiasis - Pediatric and Primary Lymphoedema - Secondary Lymphoedema - Lymphatic Filariasis and Podoconiosis


Millions of people across the world suffer a disease called lymphedema (Organic Lymphatic Vessel Disease), which is debilitating and potentially life-threatening when it is untreated. The progressive inflammation and swelling may cause pain, discomfort, skin complications, serious infections, and ultimately, severe deformity and disability, leaving men, women, and children unable to work, care for their families, and lead normal lives.
But the development six decades ago, of specialized physical therapy for the reduction and maintenance of this disease, seemed it was about to change it all. Not only was it an inexpensive treatment, in comparison to many drug treatments and surgical interventions needed for other chronic sicknesses, but it was also a powerful means to give back the quality of life to patients. With an average of only two weeks of intensive physical therapy and two wearable compression garments per year, it was possible, for the majority of patients, to reduce the limb volume and size, even halt the progression toward severe disability. 
No time had to be wasted regarding chronic Lymphedema, recognizing that the populations most at risk of this disease are those least able to afford treatment, and it made sense that international health organizations immediately started treatment campaigns and distributed compression garments to all those affected. It should have been the step ahead for treatment at a global level of this disease, an effective treatment for a tragic and completely preventable outcome, "elephantiasis", also called Stage III Lymphedema. It is very important to understand that the majority of non-reversible Lymphedema (elephantiasis), first started off as initial mild lymphedema.
If only we hadn’t turned a blind eye to the treatment of this disease, now, 60 years later, the majority of people who are affected by lymphedema in the world, as many as 300 million, are slowly progressing without treatment toward the "Elephantiasis" stage and permanently disabled. The present situation is unique in medicine, whilst the majority of chronic diseases are given the lifelong medication and health assistance they need, the greater part of patients suffering from established lymphatic dysfunction (Organic Disease), are undertreated or not treated at all. Read more about what is the current management perspective and situation of lymphatic filariasis and podoconiosis HERE.
In short, the Elephantiasis Stage is not a rare clinical condition but has stuck around because many national healthcare systems have looked the other way, the easy way out for not funding the necessary services and wearable compression garments for the treatment of lymphedema, which is why Lymphostatic Elephantiasis continues to persist worldwide. This only shows that the world has failed, and continues to fail, to treat a treatable diseaseRead more about which country has the best public healthcare coverage of lymphedema HERE.

IMPORTANT NOTICE 

Lymphedema is a serious chronic and progressive disease due to lymphatic dysfunction (Organic Lymphatic Vessel Disease). The clinical treatment of lymphedema is neither a cosmetic nor an aesthetic treatment. The treatment of lymphedema is to control its progression and alleviate the symptoms related to dysfunction of the lymphatic circulatory system. To prevent and avoid serious complications associated with treatment, such as the possible displacement of edema to previously unaffected areas when compression therapy is applied for volume reduction, patients should use highly specialized and experienced therapists. 

Professional qualification and instruction delivered remotely online are not the same as live hands-on practical instruction in the clinical training and certification of lymphedema therapists, similar to all other rehabilitation, medical, and surgical training programs, and especially for developing the necessary manual skills to treat a disease as complex as lymphedema. 

Patients should also take special care when choosing a "Multidisciplinary Center of Reference for Lymphedema", as not all countries and centers provide the same treatment options. The best choice is a center of reference that provides “Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)”, which is recognized as the “Gold Standard” treatment for lymphedema.

  • Read more about what is the best treatment option for Lymphedema HERE.
  • Read about what are the principal functions of Manual Lymphatic Drainage HERE.
  • Read about what are the main differences between the two principal lymphedema treatment protocols HERE. 
  • Read about what are the strategies for the implementation of low-cost treatment options for Lymphedema HERE.

REFERENCES

(Click on the texts to read the research articles)

SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

CUTANEOUS COMPLICATIONS
INFECTIOUS COMPLICATIONS
CELLULITIS / DERMATOLYMPHANGIOADENITIS
TUMOURS

TREATMENT

COMPRESSION GARMENTS

DISABILITY

DISFIGUREMENT

PSYCHOSOCIAL IMPACT

PEDIATRIC LYMPHEDEMA

LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS / PODOCONIOSIS



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