Lymphoedema Management

Lymphoedema is a chronic swelling, usually affecting a limb, which is caused by the accumulation of fluid that would normally be drained by the lymphatic system. It is a common condition for which there is no cure, but with the right management can be controlled. Neglect of this condition can lead to chronic skin changes, infection, gross swelling, pain, disfigurement and reduced mobility.

Breast cancer treatment is a common cause of lymphoedema in the western world, but other causes include infection, insect bites and in the developing world, filiariasis.  In some cases the cause is congenital (e.g. Milroy’s disease).

The aim of treatment is to control and or reduce the swelling by various means including skin care, compression bandaging, compression hosiery and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD). Susan is a trained palliative care nurse specialist and is trained in the Leduc method of MLD and is a member of the British Lymphology Society.

 

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