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What is lymphoedema?

Nov 7

What is lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a condition that occurs when there is a blockage or damage to the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing excess fluid from the body.

This blockage or damage can be due to a variety of factors, including surgery, radiation therapy, infection, or genetic disorders. As a result, fluid builds up in the affected area, most commonly in the arms or legs, causing swelling, discomfort, and sometimes pain. Lymphoedema is a chronic condition and there is currently no cure, but there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms and improve quality of life.

These treatments may include manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercise, and skincare. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you may have lymphoedema, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications.

Does lymphoedema go away?

Lymphoedema is a chronic condition that typically does not go away completely.

However, with proper management and treatment, the symptoms can be controlled and the condition can be significantly improved. Treatment options for lymphedema include manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercise, and skin care.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for lymphedema. They can provide guidance on managing the condition and improving quality of life.


What are the treatments for lymphoedema?

The most common treatment for lymphoedema is a combination of compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), exercise, and skincare.


Compression therapy involves wearing compression garments such as bandages, stockings, or sleeves to apply external pressure to the affected area, which helps reduce swelling. MLD is a specific type of massage that helps stimulate the lymphatic system and improve lymph flow. It should be performed by a trained therapist.


Regular exercise, particularly activities that involve movement of the affected limb, can also help improve lymphatic flow. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or lymphoedema therapist to create an appropriate exercise plan.

Skincare is essential in managing lymphoedema to prevent infection.


This includes keeping the skin clean and moisturized, avoiding cuts or injuries that can lead to infection, and practicing good hygiene. In some cases, surgery or other interventions may be necessary, but these are typically reserved for severe or resistant cases of lymphoedema. It's important to work closely with medical professionals to find the right combination of treatments for individual cases of lymphedema.


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