Lymphoedema is a condition that affects the lymphatic system, which is a network of nodes and vessels throughout the entire body. Lymphoedema can arise as a result of cancer treatment, specifically the removal or irradiation of affected lymph nodes and lymph vessels. Sometimes lymphoedema can result from cancer cells obstructing the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes that have been damaged or removed cannot be replaced, and so the lymphatic drainage routes are reduced/altered. This can cause fluid to build up in the surrounding tissues, creating swelling, discomfort and a gradual change in the texture and feel of the affected area.

Lymphoedema may develop soon after surgery or radiotherapy, or it can occur many years later. Treatment is aimed at reducing swelling and improving the condition of the tissues, and preventing further problems or complications. The symptoms of lymphoedema usually respond very well to treatment, and this means that in most cases it can be well controlled. If lymphoedema is left untreated, there is a risk that it may worsen over time.

Manual lymphatic drainage therapy can be undertaken at the Physiotherapy department at Parkside Hospital. The service is also available to those who develop lymphoedema, without previously having had cancer or cancer treatment. For more information on the service we provide, please click here.

Lymphoedema Consultants


Cancer Centre London

Parkside Hospital

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Call us on: 020 8247 3351 or