Lymphoedema Clinic at Mt Wilga Private Hospital
Lymphoedema is the swelling of a limb due to the accumulation of excess lymph fluid in the tissues. It can be caused by:
- Issues with the development or formation of lymphatic tissue
- Following surgical removal of lymph nodes
- Radiotherapy to lymph nodes
- Filariasis - a tropical disease
- Trauma or burns
If you have developed lymphoedema, Mt Wilga's lymphoedema program is designed to help you. It is a safe, effective and non-invasive treatment. Through a program of physical management and manual lymph drainage, we aim to return the lymphoedematous body region to near normal size.
Your rehabilitation program is managed by a team of health professionals, which may include:
- Rehabilitation Physician
- Occupational Therapist
- Rehabilitation Nurse
- Exercise Physiologist
- Wound care specialist
Your rehabilitation team meets regularly to discuss your progress and review your goals. You are part of the team and will be encouraged to participate in the planning and review of your program.
Your rehabilitation will be conducted as a day patient program, unless you are assessed by your Rehabilitation Specialist as requiring inpatient care.
Complex physical therapy
Your lymphoedema program involves complex physical therapy and may include the following:
- Skin care and education to improve skin condition and eliminate fungal or bacterial infection
- Lymphatic massage to manually drain the affected body region
- Bandaging using graduated pressure, which ensures the maintenance of reduction in size of the limb
- Exercises including hydrotherapy to help the movement of lymph in your affected body region
- Training for you and your family so that self management is possible
- The prescription and fitting of a pressure garment when the body part has reduced to near normal size
- Advice about home programs of daily massage and exercise to ensure maintenance of results
- An assessment and advice in use of your affected limb in every day activities if required
- Counselling and dietary services if required.
- Wound care assessment and management if required
If attending the clinic as part of an admitted program, an assessment by a Rehabilitation Physician will be undertaken prior to the commencement of your program. This will include:
- Examination and confirmation of the diagnosis
- Assessment of concurrent medical problems
- Assessment of skin status
- Program explanation, including length of program and expectations
- Assessment of motivation and care resources
You will be discharged from the lymphoedema program when your limb size has reduced sufficiently and you have been fitted with your compression garment. Follow up may be arranged for you with the lymphoedema team as an outpatient and you will be advised of other outpatient services which will help in maintaining overall fitness and wellbeing.
See information on Outpatient Lymphoedema