What is Lymphoedema ??

Lymphoedema is an accumulation of excessive lymph fluid and swelling of the subcutaneous tissue due to damage or obstruction of the lymph vessels and nodes.  This may cause a feeling of heaviness, tightness,  fullness or swelling in the limb or body part.  There may be pain and tension in the area.

Secondary Lymphoedema

Secondary lymphoedema is the most common type developing following damage to the lymphatic system. Damage may occur due to some cancer treatments including the removal of lymph nodes, or following radiotherapy to lymph node groups or with the progression of malignant disease. The onset of lymphoedema may be at any time. It may occur within months of the damage or it may appear years later.

Secondary lymphoedema may also arise without a cancer diagnosis when one or more of the following conditions occur:

  • Trauma and tissue damage
  • Venous disease
  • Immobility and dependency
  • Factious – self harm
  • Infection such as cellulitis
  • Filariasis – Lymphatic Filariasis is a major cause of lymphoedema in the sub -tropical areas of the world. Parasitic filarial worms are transmitted through mosquito bites. The parasites lodge in the lymphatic system causing destruction of the healthy vessels and nodes, resulting in lymphoedema.

Primary Lymphoedema

Primary Lymphoedema in comparison to Secondary Lymphoedema is the result of a congenital condition that affects how the lymph vessels where formed. This may result in hypoplasia of lymphatic vessels (a reduced number of lymphatic vessels), hyperplasia of lymphatic vessels (vessels that are too large to be functional) or aplasia (absence) of some part of the lymphatic system. This form may be present at birth, develop at the onset of puberty, or not become apparent for many years into adulthood.

Lymphatic drainage for lymphodema is part of a management program and is not curative.

To get the best results from a lymphatic drainage massage, seek out a suitably trained and qualified therapist.

For more information or appointments phone Jill Meredith on (02) 4344 2704 Contact Coastal Health Solutions >>


Oliver H.

Thank you also for looking after my mummy.

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