Academy of Lymphatic Studies

Education in Lymphedema Management

Education in
Basic Lymphedema Bandaging

Upper Extremity Lymphedema

Upper Extremity
Founder Academy Lymphatic Studies

Founder Academy
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The Best Education in Lymphedema Management

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Academy of Lymphatic Studies - History 

Following extensive training in Lymphedema Management, Joachim Zuther founded the Ulmkolleg/Department of Lymphology (University of Ulm, Germany) in 1990 after he received his degree as a certified instructor for Manual Lymph Drainage (Vodder Technique) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (MLD/CDT) from the German Physical Therapy Association. The Ulmkolleg is one of the leading schools for Lymphedema Management in Europe. 

In 1994 he formed the Academy of Lymphatic Studies, the first school to offer Lymphedema Certification courses in the Continental United States, according to the European curriculum. Then in 2004, he published the first textbook on Lymphedema Management titled "Textbook for Comprehensive Lymphedema Management". 

The Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS) conducts Certification Courses in MLD/CDT (135 hours), Lymphedema Management Seminars (31 hours), Certification in Manual Lymph Drainage (Vodder Techniques) Courses (40 hours), as well as Advanced Courses in Lymphedema and Wound Management. ACOLS provides these courses throughout the year in the United States. Many of these courses are held in Universities, Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, Hospitals and Cancer Centers. 

ACOLS also provides in-service lectures to physicians, other health care professionals as well as local lymphedema support groups. ACOLS faculty members are frequent speakers and presenters at National and International Lymphedema Conferences.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Academy of Lymphatic Studies is to promote high professional standards and the continuing professional competence of health care practitioners by promoting the quality and integrity of continuing education to practitioners in the field of lymphedema management. 

Our primary objective is to provide the highest quality education in Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy (MLD/CDT) and to advance the availability, quality, use and support of lymphedema management techniques through standard settings, terminology, education and research.

High Quality in Education

Consistent with our Mission Statement, we are dedicated to provide the highest quality education. Direct contact during our certification courses, small groups, highly trained and certified instructors with many years of experience in education and treatment, as well as up-to-date teaching technologies assure a maximum learning experience for participants in our programs.



The Complete Lymphedema Certification Course is an intensive 135-hour certification training medical professionals to successfully treat and manage lymphedema affecting different parts of the body, as well as other related conditions.


Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the superficial tissues and is a very common and serious condition worldwide. It has important pathological and clinical consequences for the patient if left untreated.

Secondary lymphedema is often caused by trauma to the lymphatic system, such as surgery, injury, scarring, infection and radiation therapy. Post-mastectomy lymphedema of the upper extremity caused by breast cancer treatment is very common in the United States.

Another cause for lymphedema is malformations of the lymphatic system (primary lymphedema). In such cases the swelling may appear after simple accidents such as sports injuries, which can suddenly overload the lymphatic system.

Course Objective

Each course participant will be trained in the four components of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) and the management of lymphedema affecting a variety of peripheral body parts - upper and lower extremities, head and neck, exterior genitalia, truncal swelling, pediatric lymphedema, post-surgical and post-traumatic swelling, lymphedema caused by chronic venous insufficiencies and other pathologies, lipedema and more. Upon completion of this course participants will be able to differentiate between a variety of peripheral edemas and understand the medical indications and contraindications of CDT. Furthermore the therapist will be able to establish a treatment plan for individuals with chronic extremity lymphedema and other conditions and perform the treatment accordingly.

Class Topics

  • Anatomy, physiology and pathology of the lymphatic system
  • Basic and advanced techniques of MLD and CDT
  • Treatment of primary and secondary lymphedema as well as related conditions
  • Introduction to the treatment of pediatric lymphedema, head/neck and genital lymphedema
  • Lymphedema bandaging techniques for upper and lower extremities
  • Decongestive exercises for lymphedema patients
  • Measuring techniques for edema (volumetric and circumferential)
  • Measuring techniques for compression garments (with certification) - JUZO, Solaris
  • Home maintenance and self-treatment for lymphedema patients
  • Hygienic skin and nail care for lymphedema
  • Indications and contraindications for MLD and CDT
  • Billing issues for lymphedema therapy
  • Also included:

  • ACOLS provides free support of graduates (consulting services, therapist resource listing and more)
  • ACOLS periodically offers advanced and review classes

Course Format

The Academy of Lymphatic Studies pioneered research-based lymphedema training in the United States in the early 90’s, using our traditional program that required students to spend two full weeks in off-site, classroom training. The Academy is now providing a more dynamic, accelerated course format which meticulously blends the optimal mix of online and classroom hours to provide our students with unparalleled quality of instruction.

The Complete Lymphedema Certification Course consists of 135 hours of intermediate-level education. Students will first complete a 45-hour Home Study Program, followed by the 90-hour class for their live lecture and hands-on instruction. The classroom time is taught over 9 consecutive days. It requires only 5 working days and 2 weekends to complete. Participants can also split the course, attending the first 5 days, then returning within 6 months to finish the last 4 days of the course.


To attend our Complete Lymphedema Certification Course, as per the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA®) requirements, participants must have the following:

  • Current, unrestricted licensure as an RN, OT, COTA, PT, PTA, MD, DO, ATC, DC or Massage Therapists who have completed 500 massage school hours and/or National Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Certification.

Registration Process

  1. Select the course date and location of your choice from our Schedule of Courses and register. Students MUST register for the course at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the course to ensure adequate time to complete the Home Study Program prior to attending the 9-day live course.
  2. Students prepare for the theoretical portion of the program using our Home Study/Online Portal. Our online portal contains 7 learning modules with exams. Students study each module and complete the exam at the end of each module. Students must pass each exam with a grade of 90% or better to proceed to the next module and must have the entire home study completed no later than 2 days before the course begins.
  3. Additional exams are administered during the 9 days of classroom time. If the student successfully completes the 135 hours of study and passes all of the exams, the student will be a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT).


The tuition for the Complete Lymphedema Certification course is $3150.00. A minimum deposit of $900.00 is required at the time of registration and will secure your spot in the course. The balance of the tuition is due thirty (30) days prior to the first day of class.

We offer an early registration discount of $250 if registered 60 days or more in advance. Financing options and payment plans are available if needed.

Included with the Tuition:

  • Complete and Comprehensive Certification (135 hours)
  • Textbook for Comprehensive Lymphedema Management
  • Comprehensive Course Manual
  • CD for Limb Volume Calculation
  • Complete Compression Bandage Set for the Upper and Lower Extremity
  • Certification for Compression Garment Fitting (JUZO)
  • All Academy graduates who successfully pass the 135-hour certification course are fully certified and may sit for the LANA National Exam for Lymphedema Therapists. For more information visit http://www.clt-lana.org.
  • All Academy certified therapists qualify for a free lifetime listing as a preferred lymphedema therapist for patient referral on our website
  • Graduates receive free support via email for consulting services, therapist resource listing and more.

Class Preparation

Upon receiving your deposit, a confirmation package containing the course book and home study materials will be sent to you. The confirmation package will also contain information regarding the location of the course and any relevant travel and hotel information.

In preparation for the class, you must complete the 45-hour home study and take all of the exams. The home study must be completed at least 2 days prior to the start of the course.


The classroom hours are 8am – 7pm daily. The last day of class is testing day, so class will start at 8am, but the ending times can vary depending on the number of students to be tested. Please be prepared to stay up to 9pm on the last day and plan return flights accordingly. There will be approximately one hour for lunch every day.

Continuing Education Credits (CEU's)

CEU's are available. Each state and profession is different, so please contact our Admissions Department for more detailed information regarding CEU approvals.

The Complete Lymphedema Certification course meets the educational prerequisites to complete the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA®) certification (for more information visit http://www.clt-lana.org). Academy of Lymphatic Studies is an approved provider for AOTA, NCBTMB and various state professional boards. Please call for details.

These details were last updated on: 25 February 2020
Years in Business 26
Association Joined
Where to find us 11632 High Street, Sebastian
Florida United Kingdom
How to contact us Tel: 772.589.3355
Use the contact form below
Visit our website http://www.acols.com

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