Lymphoedema Treatment

Lymphoedema treatment is a specialist form of physiotherapy that is targeted at the prevention or management of lymphoedema due to cancer treatment. 

The lymphatic system flows all throughout the body, and transports mainly white blood cells as part of the body's immune system. It helps regulate inflammation and the immune response, and removes waste and toxins from the body. Certain health conditions can interrupt the normal flow of lymph, causing a buildup in certain areas - also known as lymphoedema. Examples include swollen ankles after a long-haul flight, or a swollen arm after breast cancer treatment, lymph node removal, or radiation therapy.

Unfortunately, a significant percentage (up to 47%) of patients may develop lymphoedema after certain types of cancer interventions. 

Lymphoedema can be painful and debilitating, and increase your risk of infection. Lymphoedema treatment for a patient with cancer by a specially qualified Physiotherapist can help reduce the stagnation of the lymph and reduce swelling and associated pain and discomfort. You should only have a Lymphoedema assessment and treatment from a specially trained and experienced Physiotherapist.

 

How does Lymphoedema after cancer treatment present?

  • Swelling localised to a limb, often painful
  • Feeling of heaviness or tightness in the limb
  • Reduced mobility in the limb
  • Increased infections
  • Gradual onset. If the presentation of swelling is acute it is important to rule out an acute infection or a DVT.

What to expect during a Lymphoedema treatment for a patient with cancer

Treatment sessions depend on the treatment history, level of risk, and the individual presentation and severity of swelling of the individual patient. It may involve manual lymphatic drainage, scar tissue massage, and joint mobilization to encourage improved movement in restricted joints and muscles. There is also a large focus on self-massage, stretching and safe return to exercise to ensure you have as much control of your recovery as possible and minimise risks of developing lymphoedema down the track.

All of our Lymphoedema Therapists and Physiotherapists are experienced in treating patients with cancer.

Private healthcare rebates apply, and you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate under a Chronic Disease Management Plan. Please note, we are not a bulk billing clinic. 

For more information, or to make an appointment for your Lymphoedema Treatment in Carnegie, Melbourne, please contact us

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MIOG offers evidence-based Complementary Medicines to patients with cancer: before, during and after medical treatment. MIOG staff are not Medical Oncologists. MIOG recommends that patients with cancer consult a Medical Oncologist for appropriate support.


 

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