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What is lymphoedema?

We've been providing a lymphoedema service for over 15 years, treating patients from across the North East with this chronic swelling of the arms, legs, head, neck and other areas of the body.

A large part of our work centres on educating patients and healthcare professionals about how to identify lymphoedema and who can help, as well as techniques for self-management. This helps to reduce hospital admissions, and means patients can quickly get the help they need to improve their quality of life and manage their condition.

So what is lymphoedema? It’s a swelling of an area of the body, usually the limbs, caused by poor drainage of the body’s lymphatic system - a drainage and filtering system which helps keep the body healthy and fight infection and bacteria.

There are a number of causes of lymphoedema, including cancer or its treatment, or you can be born with it. It is permanent but if caught early it can be managed effectively. And that's where services like ours come in.

We take referrals for palliative and non-palliative lymphoedema patients at our Outpatients Service, providing lymphatic massage, bandaging, skincare, compression and garment fitting, and Patient Education programmes. We also have run Outreach Clinics so patients can access treatment closer to home. For more information about our services in the North East click here.

The British Lymphology Society also has advice and guidance for both the public and health care professionals on their website: www.thebls.com. The Lymphoedema Support Network is available to offer support and advice to people living with lymphoedema: www.lymphoedema.org

 

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