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Lymphoedema and Lipoedema

What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a condition where the build up of too much protein-rich fluid in the tissue results in swelling of one or more parts of the body. Lymphoedema usually affects the limbs (arms and legs) although it may also involve the trunk, breast, head and neck or genital area.

Lymphoedema occurs when the lymphatic system doesn’t work properly, or when the need for lymphatic drainage is bigger than the lymphatic system can cope with.

The lymphatic system is made up of a network of pathways throughout the body which transport fluid from the body, through your lymph nodes, back to the bloodstream.

What is Lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a condition which can present as symmetrical swelling in the legs, thighs and buttocks, and sometimes the arms. It mainly affects women, but in rare cases can be seen in men. The affected areas can bruise easily and can be painful. The tissues can be tender to touch and some people also have fluid retention. Fluid build up can result in Lymphoedema. Lipoedema is sometimes seen in multiple members of the same family and may have a genetic component. Sometimes lipoedema is mistaken for lymphoedema, weight gain, obesity or cellulite .

While lipoedema may contribute to obesity and a person with obesity can have lipoedema, obesity and lipoedema are two separate conditions. Lipoedema can have a significant impact on quality of life.

Lipoedema is recognised as a medical condition by the World Health Organisation (WHO) but many people with Lipoedema have faced many misdiagnoses. There are diverse opinions and evidence about lipoedema which can be confusing for people, even health professionals!

Lymphoedema and Lipoedema Management at Windy Hill Physio

Our staff have the specialised understanding and skills to manage this difficult condition. Their passion, commitment and extensive experience will help you achieve the best possible outcome.

    Your management will include the following:
  • Assessment and treatment of Lymphoedema and Lipoedema (children and adults) including treatment of axillary cording and shoulder dysfunction post-surgery for breast cancer

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) – hands on drainage treatment

  • Compression garment prescription (standard and custom made sizing)

  • Applications to SWEP and the Lymphoedema Compression Garment Program for government funded compression garments

  • Information and education about Lymphoedema and Lipoedema

  • Photo biomodulation (PBM, low level light therapy)

  • Lymph taping

  • Teach you self management strategies

  • Ongoing support and professional care for Lymphoedema and Lipoedema clients.

  • Education, prevention and management of lymphoedema of the arms, legs, breast, head and neck, and genitals