What is Lymphoedema or Lymphedema and what causes it?

This is tissue swelling caused by a defect of the lymphatic system which is a part of the immune and circulatory system. Lymphoedema can arise from primary or secondary causes.

Primary causes are congenital in origin that can manifest at different stages of life. That is, at birth, teenage or later in life commonly middle age. Do you have other family members that have similar presentations as you?

The other causes can be Secondary due to trauma; injury; surgery including removal of lymph node(s) in cancer, hip/knee replacement; vascular procedures e.g. vein stripping; radiotherapy, infection, being wheel-chair bound or simply being severely overweight.

There are other conditions that may appear to Lymphoedema, too. Once you have received medical assessment and clearance by your doctor, the clinician (Linda) can help you work out what the possible cause is and how to address the condition.

Signs and symptoms of Lymphoedema

Lymphoedema is a form of tissue swelling that develops gradually and can present in any part of the body but more commonly in the legs.

If the condition is left unaddressed for an extended period of time, the common signs and symptoms include:

  • Swelling in any part of the body e.g. legs, feet, arms, head and neck, breast
  • Heaviness and restricted movement
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Skin thickening (fibrosis) and other skin changes or growth
  • Repeated infections and sometimes hospitalisation
  • Localised discomfort and pain

What is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) and Compression Therapy?

Compression Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is a recommended comprehensive treatment for lymphoedema. The aim of CDT is to reduce the swelling and to prevent re-accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the body part. A critical component is application of Compression Therapy consecutively for an intensive period of time followed by a maintenance period.

Compression therapy may involve Compression Bandaging of the affected body part or Compression Wraps, Compression Stockings and/or Compression Pumps.

Working together with you, our clinician will help you in various ways. For example, to improve your capacity to walk, relieve your pain, exercise, and/or  return to do what is important to you (Tell the clinician at your First Appointment).

Click here to learn more about CDT.

What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?

MLD is a specialised massage therapy to facilitate lymphatic drainage away from the area of swelling. It is one of the integral components in the best practice treatment guidelines.

Your clinician (Linda) is fully certified as an Advanced Practitioner since 2003. She is trained in the Dr Vodder CDT and MLD technique and also with the Lymphoedema Training Academy. She will apply a specialised light stroking massage technique to help with your swelling.

What are the treatment options for lymphoedema?

Currently, lymphoedema is an incurable and progressive chronic condition.

However, it can be managed successfully if addressed as early as possible and on a regular basis for an excellent quality of life.

This clinic offers various services that involve conservative (non-surgical) treatment options.

The main treatment highly recommended is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).

This includes an intensive phase of Compression Therapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and exercise.

Your clinician (Linda) will assess and tailor a suitable plan for you, if indicated.

Cutting Edge Treatments offered

LK Lympho

LymphaTouch for scar and lymphoedema care

Our clinician is committed to her trade. She attends and participates in national and international lymphoedema conferences regularly so you can be assured that you will be managed with the latest treatments proven to be more effective. Some of the equipment and treatments are not readily available at public hospitals.

The clinic has state-of-the-art specialised lymphoedema equipment such as SOZO (Bioimpedence Spectroscopy) for assessment. Watch the video for more information. There is also the  LymphaTouch to treat your swelling, skin changes or stubborn scars.

I have swelling, what should I do?

We understand unexplained ongoing swelling in the leg(s) or any part of the body can be distressing. Many things can cause swelling e.g. a clot, medication. Did your doctor give you a diagnosis of lymphoedema? Otherwise, we recommend that you seek a thorough medical check-up and clearance prior to making an appointment with us. This is because it is important to determine the cause of your swelling as treatment will differ. Our clinician will assess and examine you at the first appointment.

Do I need a referral?

No, a referral is not needed to consult a registered physiotherapist in the private clinic in Australia.

The exception will be if you are medically covered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), military, workers’ compensation or similar organisations. In this case, please see your medical practitioner for a referral.

How do I book my first appointment?

Please call the clinic reception on 08 9383 3838 to make an initial first appointment.

Once completed, you will receive an emailed confirmation of your appointment.

Alternatively – please click here to book an appointment through our web form.

How much is an appointment?

Your appointment should be covered under the Physiotherapy benefit if private health insurance is applicable. The clinic offers HICAPS claim on-site. However, depending on your level of private health cover, there will likely be an out of pocket expense for lymphoedema treatments

In addition, depending on your level of cover, private health insurance cover is variable for medical appliances or aids such as Compression Stockings. Please call your private health insurance fund for more information. Medicare does not cover for compression stockings currently.

Please contact us for more information.

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