Lymphedema is divided into primary and secondary lymphedema. Primary lymphedema is a rare condition that is a hereditary disease that may be caused by insufficient lymph nodes or hormonal disorders.
The primary lymphedema is divided into:
Secondary lymphedema is the most common form of lymphedema due to a disease that blocks the lymph drainage due to changes in the lymph nodes. The most common form of secondary lymphedema is after radiation therapy or surgical intervention in the removal of lymph nodes after breast cancer. Risk factors that contribute to lymphedema after breast cancer are removal of lymph nodes, infections of sores or rifts in the skin, postoperative complications, high body mass index, hypertension, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Symptoms of lymphedema in the arm or leg can be heaviness, pain, visible or palpable changes in the skin and thicker limbs. There are about 1 in 5 (20%) who will have lymphedema after breast cancer treatment if they have either removed lymph nodes or has radiation therapy. (cancerresearchuk.org, 2018).
Lymphoedema is treated by compression bandaging, wearing compression garments such as stockings or sleeves, skincare, manual lymphatic drainage and exercises. Elevation of the arm or the leg can help to ease the drainage of the lymph fluid from the affected limb. The limb should be elevated above heart level and supported. Gentle exercise can also help to reduce the swelling. The use of muscles during exercise helps lymph fluid to circulate, which then help to reduce the swelling. A proper diet is important to help to reduce any overweight as fat stores excessive fluid.
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Parking spaces are available outside each of our clinic buildings. Please arrive 5 minutes early for an assessment appointment as you will be asked to complete a consent form prior to entering the treatment room. Bring along any referral letters, scans, reports that you may have.
Please wear comfortable clothing to your appointment. You may be asked to remove clothing so all relevant areas can be examined. If you are presenting a limb injury, please bring a pair of shorts or a thin strapped top to make it easier for your therapist to examine or you may be asked to change into a pair of shorts privately in the treatment room.
Payments must be made on arrival. The charges for each appointment type are shown on the appointment selection page. If you qualify for a known discount or would like to redeem a voucher, please notify a member of the reception team on arrival for your appointment. Payment to insurance companies are dealt with directly.
If you have health insurance you need to check with your insurance company that your treatment is covered. Please bring the relevant details with you including your policy number and claim/authorisation number. Treatment costs not covered by your insurance will need to be met in full on the day of treatment. All policy excesses must be disclosed and paid for on your initial visit.
24hrs notice must be given if you wish to cancel your appointment. Failure to do so may result in a charge being raised for the appointment.