Lymphoedema Prevention and Management

When lymphatic vessels or nodes are damaged or poorly developed lymphoedema can occur.
The risk of developing lymphoedema seems to be higher for people who have had several lymph nodes removed after surgery from cancer or who have undergone radiotherapy.

Signs and Symptoms can include:

Swelling of limb
Achy pain or tension in limb
Feeling of heaviness in limb
Tightness of clothes or jewellery on effected side

The aim of lymphoedema treatments are to prevent progression of the condition, to reduce odema and then maintain the improvement. This includes the reduction of associated symptoms, preventing infection outbreaks and improving the function of limb and your quality of life. Various medical research suggests that without treatment secondary lymphoedema may worsen.

Complex Lymphoedema Therapy includes:

Education of lymphoedema- Understanding the lymphatic system and the importance of self-care.

Manual lymphatic drainage- Specialised manual therapy technique to improve transport of lymphatic fluid which decreases the size of the limb.

Compression bandaging- Intensive therapy generally done over a 1-2 week period. Used to reduce swelling in the affected limb in the initial stages.

Home exercise- Designed to stimulate muscle pump action and help reduce and control the swelling.

Skincare- Improves quality of skin and prevents fibrotic tissue developing and infections such as cellulitis.

Self massage techniques- Simplified version of manual lymphatic drainage that a person can do at home to stimulate their lymphatic system.

Compression garments- Measure supply and fit all types of compression garments both off the shelf and made to measure. I use suppliers such as Sigvaris, Mobiderm, Jobst, Juzo.

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