Our lymphoedema clinic, based in the Bradbury Wellness Centre, provides treatment and education for patients who have either primary or secondary lymphoedema. The
emphasis is on best management of the affected area and encouraging the patient
to take on-going control of their oedema.
Between 80,000 and 124,000 people in the UK are affected by the chronic long term swelling, which occurs when the lymphatic system fails either due to a genetic fault or through damage following infection, severe injury, deep vein thrombosis or treatment such as radiotherapy or surgery for cancer. Annually, we provide 1500 outpatient appointments to 400 people through this service (figures from April 2016 - March 2017).
Some patients require an initial two-to-three-week programme of short stretch bandaging or compression wraps and manual lymphatic drainage. All patients are given advice and supporting literature with guidance about how to manage their condition and avoid the risk of infection.
Management may include compression hosiery, exercise, self-lymphatic drainage, skin care, kinesio tape , low level light therapy or the use of a compression pump. Once a patient’s lymphoedema is managed and stable, they are discharged to self-manage in the community.
We also run a lymphoedema support group, for those recently diagnosed or newly discharged from clinic. This involves six sessions a year and provides education on all aspects of lymphoedema management and feedback on latest developments in lymphoedema care from the annual BLS conference.
Our clinical specialists have recently updated their Manual Lymphatic Drainage Training and now practise Fluroscopy Guided MLD.
In addition, the clinical specialists in lymphoedema continue to provide education sessions for healthcare professionals on lymphoedema management and work closely with the oncology teams at Addenbrooke’s Hospital to facilitate referrals to the service.