LYMPHOEDEMA & LIPOEDEMA
PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT
Lipoedema (or lipodema) and lymphoedema are two medical conditions that are often mistaken for one another. Although similar in name, these two conditions impact the body in significantly different ways. It is crucial to understand the difference between the two and how each can be effectively managed and treated.
Lymphoedema can be described as a localized swelling of the body caused by an abnormal accumulation of lymph fluid. This is not the same as the swelling or pain that immediately follows surgery or radiotherapy. It is therefore important to be assessed by your doctor or a qualified therapist before you begin treatment.
Lymphoedema can be managed with appropriate care. Early detection and intervention will significantly improve outcomes, which is why assessment, education and self-care plays a major role in our management plan.
We use the latest lymphoedema assessment technology, which gives you base measures for regular comparison, tracking and treatment.
The aim of treatment is to reduce and control swelling, prevent infection, improve the functionality, and reduce any pain of the affected area. This is achieved by treating with a specialised form of massage called decongestive therapy which aims to improve the way in which the lymphatic vessels are working and helps reduce the build up of fluid.
The techniques are gentle but at the same time stimulating for the lymphatics. The treatment requires specialised training and should be designed by a qualified lymphoedema therapist.
That is why you should look out for the tick of approval by the Australasian Lymphology association for a recognized therapist before making an appointment.
Lipoedema (lip-o-dee-muh) is a chronic disorder of fat metabolism and distribution which usually manifests as a disproportionate amount of fat being stored in the lower half of the body. It is most commonly seen in women.
The cause of lipoedema is unknown however many doctors believe it is linked to hormones, particularly in women as many symptoms develop or worsen during times of extreme hormonal changes such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause.
Some studies have shown that lipoedema may run in families.
Treatment follows similar management to lympoedema, with medical compression playing a key role in the process.