Lymphoedema is an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid between the skin and muscles of the body that causes swelling, most often in the arm(s) and/or leg(s), and occasionally in other parts of the body. It sometimes occurs naturally and sometimes is secondary to trauma. It may also be a result of surgery or radiation, but often it can be prevented when patients are taught precautions after surgery. 

Lymphoedema can occur when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired (primary), or when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes are removed (secondary).

Lymphoedema is a chronic, generally incurable ailment, which requires lifelong care and attention along with psychosocial support.



Who develops oedema including lymphoedema? 

Post Cancer

Surgery combined with radiation therapy for cancer is a common cause of secondary lymphoedema.  Our treatment and management program will control & reduce these symptoms.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency.

This occurs due to the failure of the valves in the veins to fully shut — causing the legs to chronically swell which, in turn, leads to thickening and hard tissue fibrosis.

Orthopedic Edema.

The lymphatic system can be overloaded in some injuries leading to edema problems.

Lymphoedema can also result from scarring, excision of lymph nodes, repeated infections, or paralysis with dependent limb positioning.

Signs and Symptoms

With lymphoedema, you may have:

Dull ache in affected limb.

Feeling of tightness in the skin.

Difficulty moving a limb, bending at the joint.

Pitting-small indentation left on the skin after pressure is applied.

Shoes, rings, or watches suddenly fit too tightly.

Repeated infections in your arm or leg.

Joint pain.

Difficulty doing your daily activities.

If you notice persistent swelling, it is very important you seek immediate medical advice as early diagnosis and treatment improves both prognosis and the condition.


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Lymphoedema Prevention Strategies


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Lymphoedema Early Intervention


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Management of Other Complications



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Deep Vein Thrombosis and Venous Insufficiency



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Exercise and Lymphoedema



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Garments Explained




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Resources for Lymphoedema in Canberra


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Directions for Lymphoedema Research


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