Lymphoedema Resources

10 August 2018

Lymphoedema is a debilitating condition that results in significant discomfort for patients and has no cure. However, with careful assessment and accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment can relieve symptoms such as swelling and pain and improve patients’ quality of life. This article outlines the physiology of lymphoedema, before exploring the assessment and treatment measures, which include compression therapy to reduce oedema, skin care, manual manipulation of lymph fluid and exercise.

Topics:  Management
14 March 2017

There has been an increase in non-cancer-related cases of lymphoedema across the UK and there is a need to raise awareness of this chronic non-curable condition (Williams, 2003; Keen, 2008). Lymphoedema can be effectively managed in primary care; however, frontline clinicians should have an understanding of the difference between lymphoedema and other lower limb conditions, especially with regards to lower limb lymphoedema. There are also gaps in knowledge around the practice of managing poorly drained interstitial fluid, which need to be addressed. However, for management to be effective, a patient-centred approach needs to be established with patients directing their care. As the management of lymphoedema involves patients doing exercises, it impacts on their day-to-day lives. Slight modifications, such as personal massage to improve lymphatic drainage, skin care to improve skin texture and theraband exercises to aid mobility, may need to be considered as part of the management process and, as the medical model on its own is not effective in managing this condition, patients may need to be referred to a team of specialist practitioners.

Topics:  diuretics