Lymphedema is a long-term condition where excess fluid collects in tissues causing swelling (edema).
The lymphatic system is a part of the immune system and vital for immune function. Fluid called lymph circulates within the lymphatic system.
Normally lymph flows through lymph vessels, but if the lymphatic system is damaged or inadequate it cannot handle the usual amount of lymph, and fluid builds up in the tissues.
Lymphoedema develops when too much protein-rich fluid (lymph) accumulates in the tissues. When the lymphatic drainage system is damaged, usually due to surgery (including removal of lymph nodes) or radiation treatment, it can’t transport the fluid out of the tissues and return it to the bloodstream. This causes swelling, which can become permanent if left untreated. It might also lead to skin infections and cellulitis (infection of the skin).
Lymphoedema can develop within months of treatment or years later. The onset is usually gradual.
Lymphoedema is a progressive, chronic condition that develops in stages:
Stage 0: A stage where swelling isn’t obvious, even though the lymphatic system has been damaged.
Stage I: In this early stage, lymph fluid accumulates in the tissues, causing swelling that goes down with elevation. There may be some “pitting” (an indentation that remains after pressure is applied to a small area).
Stage II: Elevating the area doesn’t reduce the swelling and pitting is obvious.
Stage III : The tissue is hard and no longer pits. The overlying skin thickens, gradually becoming discoloured and increased fat deposits develop. At this stage the affected area is usually very swollen and the swelling is irreversible.
It’s important to know the early signs and symptoms of lymphoedema:
Lymphedema is incurable, but with the right treatment, it can be controlled.
CDT has been shown to relieve Oedema fibrosis and the accompanying pain and discomfort of these conditions.
CDT is a combination of manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, exercises and skin care. It may also involve breathing exercises, compressive garments and dietary measures.
Always wear your compression garment.
“Thank you for the treatments – they have given me immense relief.
It is hard to even recall now the heaviness that was in my arm a few weeks ago.”
“After lymph node removal and radiation for melanoma I experienced discomfort and swelling in my left arm. I have had treatment with Catherine and have found great improvement. I have no hesitation in recommending Interactive Therapies as a professional, caring clinic. Their support and advice has been very worthwhile and knowledgeable.”
We have been working with one of our clients using a protocol for lymphoedema that differs from the current CPT that is given within hospitals. This technique is Lymphatic Enhancement Technology, which utilizes electronic and manual stimulation for fluid acceleration.
Combining both the Lymphstar and manual stimulation techniques, Lymphatic Enhancement improves lymph fluid acceleration. The Lymphstar Pro has various fields of low vibration energy provided by radio frequency waves. It stimulates the lymphatic capillaries to increase fluid flow and breaks down protein-rich fluid in the tissue spaces.
For more information on Lymphoedema visit the Vodder web site: Vodder School
New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation:
$109 – One session
$505 – 5 prepaid sessions (Save $40)