If the lymphatic system is disturbed it can no longer take up sufficient lymph. The fluid builds up in the tissue and the results are visible swelling. It can occur when the lymph system is normal, but greatly overloaded. Once acquired lymphoedema is a lifelong condition, but not a threat to your life, MLD and CDT treatments may greatly improve the effected areas.

Lymphoedema can occur as a result of insufficient development of lymph vessels which may be present at birth (congenital), lymphoedema praecox which develops between 2 and 35 years of age and lymphoedema tarda after the age of 35. These are referred to as primary lymphoedema.

The lymphatic system may also be disrupted as a result of surgery, infection, injuries, radiotherapy or removal of lymph nodes, this is known as secondary lymphoedema. Read more about breast cancer.

Treatment & Management

Consists of Manual Lymphatic Drainage designed and adapted to each patient’s individual needs and requirements. The best results can be achieved if MLD is administered in the early stages of Lymphoedema.

Complex or Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT)

Is a combination of MLD treatments, Multi-layered bandaging, advice on compression garments, hygiene, skin care and self manual lymph drainage, these will all be discussed during consultation and treatments.

Skin Care & Self Massage

Self massage and skin care plays a very important part in the management of lymphoedema. During the treatments of MLD a few simple self massage techniques will be discussed and taught to the patient.

Deep Breathing

Practicing deep breathing, like exercise, promotes the movement of fluid through the lymph system while providing it with fresh oxygen

If you notice any suspicious swelling do not wait too long, consult your GP or breast care nurse who can refer you to a specialist if necessary.