What is lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is the accumulation of protein-rich fluid in your body causing one or more areas to swell. The swelling occurs when your lymphatic drainage system is not functioning correctly and instead of draining naturally, the fluid begins to build up in the tissues.
What can I expect from lymphoedema treatment and management?
Lymphoedema treatment and management aims to improve the flow of lymph fluid through the body to limit the degree of pooling. Research has shown that effective lymphoedema management requires a combination of therapies that include:
- Manual lymphatic drainage
- Compression therapy
- Exercise prescription and education
- Healthy lifestyle advice and support
- Scar management and advice
- Skin care
Treatment is individualised for each patient depending on the severity of your condition and your therapist will take you through your management plan during your initial consultation.
Will my lymphoedema go away?
Unfortunately there is no cure for lymphoedema, however the right management program will help to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Is a referral required?
You do not require a GP referral to see a lymphoedema therapist unless you are covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you are experiencing lymphoedema, your GP may refer you on a Chronic Disease Management Program (previously known as Enhanced Primary Care). This referral will need to be brought to your initial appointment so that you can access Medicare benefits.
Can I claim this service as an extra on my health insurance policy?
Lymphoedema management sessions may be claimed on private health insurance depending on your level of cover, please check with your private health insurance provider.