What is Lymphoedema? Lymphoedema is a condition where the accumulation of excessive amounts of protein-rich fluid in the tissue results in swelling of one or more regions of the body. Lymphoedema usually affects the limb(s) although it may also involve the trunk, breast, head and neck or genital area. The affected area can then become swollen, painful and heavy. There are a number of situations that can bring on lymphoedema, however surgery to remove lymph nodes or radiotherapy for cancer treatment are the most common. Left untreated, lymphoedema will lead to progressive swelling over time. However, lymphoedema can be reduced and managed with appropriate intervention. Early identification, assessment and treatment usually result in the best outcome, as when the swelling is left untreated, the lymph fluid becomes thicker and more difficult to move. Lymphoedema Management Lymphoedema can be managed and the swelling decreased by a program which may include a combination of:
Manual lymphatic drainage (specialized massage)
Exercise routine and skin care
Physiotherapists Treating Lymphoedema Our Physiotherapist Rowee Obst completed her Level 1 Lymphoedema management course through the ALERT program and Macquarie University (Australian Lymphoedema Education, Research and Treatment) in 2019. She is a member of the Australian Lymphoedema Association (ALA). She participates in regular professional development courses run by accredited bodies to maintain her registration on the National Lymphoedema Practitioner Register (NLPR). With treatment she aims to improve patients quality of life through reduction of swelling and improving patients ability to self manage their chronic condition.