Fluids from our body's tissues drain into lymphatic vessels, located near blood vessels, this fluid is called Lymph. Lymphatic vessels carry Lymph to different nodes throughout the body to filter out and destroy potentially harmful substances.
This helps protect the body from infection, once processed, the Lymph is passed back into the body tissues via blood vessels. Lymph nodes are located all over the body.
Primary Lymphoedema is a rare inherited condition where lymph nodes and vessels are either absent or abnormal.
Secondary Lymphoedema can occur after treatment for cancer. damage to the lymphatic system as a result can cause fluid to build up in different parts of the body.
How is Lymphoedema Managed?
Lymphoedema Signs and Symptoms
Early signs of lymphoedema to look for include:
a feeling of heaviness , tightness or fullness in the limb or body part
ache, pain or tension in the limb or body part
There is no known cure for lymphoedema, however the condition can be managed with the right care. The aim is to reduce and control swelling, improve range of movement and reduce risk of infection
Skin Care - daily skin care is important, our skin provides an important barrier from infection
Exercise - improves mobility and maintains body weight
Complex Physical Therapy - your doctor may refer you to a qualified lymphoedema practitioner to develop an individualised treatment plan that mat include:
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) or decongestive therapy
Special limb exercises
More information on Lymphoedema
An information booklet is available on location with more details, supplied by the Australian Government, Cancer Australia.
Registered Practitioner for the Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA)
Member of the ATMS