Lymphoedema Management Programme

What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is an abnormal collection of fluid within the lymphatic system which leads to swelling. It occurs due to an obstruction or insufficiency in the lymphatic drainage system.

Lymphoedema can affect any part of the body, although it is most commonly seen in an arm or leg. After diagnosis, initiating treatment as early as possible is advised.

Lymphoedema is a long-term condition but its symptoms can be alleviated by appropriate management.

There are two main types of lymphoedema:

  • Primary Lymphoedema
  • Secondary Lymphoedema
 Combined Decongestive Therapy is the recommended treatment for Lymphoedema

Combined Decongestive Therapy is the recommended treatment for Lymphoedema

Primary Lymphoedema occurs when the lymphatic system is poorly developed and certain lymphatic structures are impaired or absent from birth. 

Secondary Lymphoedema results from illness, treatment or trauma that damages the lymphatic system. In Ireland, the main cause of secondary lymphoedema is the treatment of cancer. 

 

Cancer-related Lymphoedema is commonly associated with breast, gynaecological and urological cancers. It can also arise after head and neck cancer, melanoma, sarcoma and lymphoma. It can occur due to the physical location of the tumour, or because of investigations or treatments such as lymph node removal, surgery or radiation therapy. 

 

WHAT TYPES OF ISSUES MAY BENEFIT FROM THE LYMPHOEDEMA MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME?

Access to our integrated team of rehabilitation professionals can help with all of the following:

  • Primary Lymphoedema
  • Secondary Lymphoedema
  • Lipoedema
  • Emotional or psychological problems due to diagnosis of chronic medical problem
  • Adjustment of daily activities or workplace (occupational therapy)
 

WHAT TYPES OF INTERVENTIONS ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE LYMPHOEDEMA MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME?

Therapeutic interventions will be based on you own individual needs and priorities, and may include:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Compression bandaging of the affected area
  • Compression garment sizing and fitting
  • Therapeutic exercise prescription
  • Self-management programme and advice
  • Occupational Therapy input for activity or workplace advice
  • Psychotherapy input for mental wellness
 

IS LYMPHOEDEMA MANAGEMENT COVERED BY PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?

VHI, Laya Healthcare and Irish Life Health will reimburse you for many of our services such as physiotherapy, lymphoedema therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy if you have an outpatient cover on your health insurance policy. Please check your policy for applicable excesses, terms and conditions.

 

NEXT STEPS

We want to provide you with the best care possible and this may involve working with the people currently providing your care. We are happy for you to refer yourself to our Lymphoedema Management Programme by calling reception, or you can be referred by your GP, Consultant or other healthcare provider.

For complex medical conditions, we suggest you obtain a referral letter from your consultant, GP, or clinical nurse specialist including your medical history and treatments to date. This will help us to better understand your unique health needs and create a personalised programme of care. 

You are very welcome to contact us directly to book your appointment. With your consent, we are happy to contact your network of healthcare providers on your behalf to collect the medical information required to create your unique programme of care.

We can also provide access to advice from our Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Lymphoedema Management via our secure online telehealth platform, Strive At Home. You can access this advice from the comfort, privacy and security of your own home. 

Strive Clinic gives you access to an opinion you can trust and the expert care you deserve.

So take action on the health issues that are important to you and book your appointment today!