WHAT IS LYMPHOEDEMA?
Lymphoedema occurs when the lymphatic system does not function properly and cause swelling of a part of the body. It usually occurs in the arms and legs but cam occur in other areas as well.
Lymphoedema can sometimes become severe and cause serious problems, and often is a long-term or chronic condition. This is why early and careful management is needed to help reduce symptoms and keep it from getting worse
WHAT CAUSES LYMPHOEDEMAPrimary lymphoedema is quite rare and is caused from an error in lymphatic development.
Secondary lymphedema is caused by injury to a normally developed lymphatic system.
Any condition or procedure that damages your lymph nodes or lymph vessels can cause lymphedema.
Causes include: Surgery, radiation removal of or injury to lymph nodes and lymph vessels during gynaecological or prostate cancer surgery may result in lymphedema.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LYMPHOEDEMA?
Some early signs of lymphoedema
• Heaviness, tightness or swelling
• Discomfort or pain.
If you experience these symptoms, or you believe that you may be at risk of developing lymphoedema, you are encouraged to talk to your Doctor about having an assessment by a Lymphoedema Practitioner.
CAN LYMPHOEDEMA BE TREATED?
It is not possible to cure lymphoedema, however it can be managed and the risk of pain, poor mobility and infection can be reduced.
WHAT CAN THE LYMPHOEDEMA CLINIC OFFER YOU?Services provided
• Lymphoedema assessment with an initial 1:1 consultation
• Patient education on lymphoedema management
• Advice re therapy options
• Tailored treatment programs
• Self-management strategies
• Lymphatic drainage massage
• Prescription demonstration of compression therapy comprising of multilayer bandaging and/or compression garments
IS THERE A COST?
There is no charge for visits till June 2023.
Private fees may apply thereafter.
The cost of equipment or materials such as compression garments and bandages is at the client’s expense.
The cost of bandages and garments is at the client’s expense; however some financial assistance may be available for garments for Victorian clients through the SWEP Lymphoedema Compression Garment Program, or NSW clients through the Enable Program. We can provide you with more information.
Patients would need a completed referral form from a health practitioner to be seen. DOWNLOAD REFERRAL FORM
Please ensure referral includes:
1. Height / weight / BMI - referrals cannot be triaged without this information
2. Pitting/non-pitting oedema
3. Prior treatment for cancer & previous treatment for lymphoedema
4. Current problems/issues related to lymphoedema – swelling/ache/infection/impaired function
5. Relevant investigations