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Steps to follow

Steps to follow

« What do I have to do? »

(Steps to follow)

Early detection and treatment yield better results in minimizing swelling and reducing complications. Serious complications include cellulitis – a potentially life-threatening infection – poorly healing wounds, hardening skin and tissue, and loss of mobility.

Be aware of the symptoms. Consult your physician or a lymphedema therapist for an assessment. Your best bet is to work with all members of your healthcare team. That means your doctor, your nurse, your lymphedema therapist, your orthotist, your compression garment fitter, the LAQ, and YOU!

Never forget that your motivation and respect for self-care and self-management are key to controlling lymphedema and feeling good.

Here are the steps you need to take if you suspect swelling.


I consult my GP for a diagnosis, possibly of lymphedema. If lymphedema is diagnosed, I get a full prescription for my compression garments from my doctor. Your nurse can help you with this consultation. She’ll give you the LAQ’s Resource Guide, as well as all the documentation you’ll need to take the next step.


I seek physiotherapy treatment at my hospital to reduce the volume of swelling OR I find a certified therapist in the LAQ Resource Guide (Therapists section) and receive my treatment privately – reimbursable by private insurance. Public or private, I’ll receive intensive treatment with bandages 24/7. My therapist will sell me the bandages, which the RAMQ will reimburse at 75%. My therapist will introduce me to self-management: skin care, curative exercises, and self-massage.


When my therapist tells me to, I have the affected limb measured by an adjuster listed in the LAQ Resource Guide, so that I can order my compression garment. RAMQ reimburses up to 75% of the cost of 5 compression garments per year. I keep my bandages 24/7 until the garment is delivered –  10 to 14 working days.


I take delivery of my compression garment. My fitter or I will make the claim. In the event of discomfort, I have 10 days to benefit from a new fit. It is important to strictly follow all my therapist’s recommendations.


I see my certified therapist for a follow-up within a few weeks. I make sure to see my therapist regularly every year to ensure that my self-management is effective. If my condition changes, I consult my therapist without delay.


During any of these stages, I contact the LAQ to learn more about self-management, get answers to my questions, obtain resources or guidance, and persevere in controlling lymphedema. 1 866 979-2463 / 514 979-2463

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