The treatment can include:
manual lymph drainage – focussed massage to try to shift and reduce the fluid trapped in the tissues
bandaging and hosiery – special garments which put gentle pressure on the limbs to try to prevent re-accumulation of fluid in the tissues
Patients can be referred by the GP or District Nurse, the specialist palliative care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) or key worker, or by a hospital team.
Patients are booked into the lymphoedema clinic on a waiting list basis. Patients then usually come to Meadow House for an assessment and planning session. The lymphoedema specialist sometimes advises an intensive course of therapy. This is where the patient has many appointments in a short space of time.
The patient then would go into a ‘maintenance phase’ where follow up contact is regular but less frequent. Patients and families are often taught self care techniques to help them manage during this period.