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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Treatment of lymphoedema

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for lymphoedema, and treatment varies depending on the severity.  

Treatment plans will be individually devised and may consist of: skin care, exercise, Simple lymphatic drainage/manual lymphatic drainage, a specialist technique to help with lymph drainage, and compression garments, which are often needed life-long. 

Bandages, wraps, Kinesio tape and pneumatic compression (IPC), are also treatment options.  If a course of bandaging is required, you will attend as an out-patient 2 to 3 times a week for bandage renewal. This will be over a period of 2 to 4 weeks and you will also go to bed with the bandages on of a night.  Sometimes night time compression is also recommended permanently. 

We may also recommend that you have treatment with other specialities, such as community nurses, practice nurses, Tissue Viability. 

As Lymphoedema is a long term condition that can be progressive, life-long self-management is important, so you will be taught how to manage this condition independently, which requires a high level of motivation and compliance.

Patients will usually be discharged once they have been stable for 12 months.  Patients who are non-compliant with their plan of care or do not accept treatment will, as well as non-attendance at appointments will also be discharged.