Procedures

Complex Lymphoedema Therapy (CLT)LiposuctionLymph Node TransferLymphovenous Anastomosis (LVA)

Complex Lymphoedema Therapy (CLT)

The use of compression garments is one of the cornerstones of lymphoedema treatment. They enable medically appropriate pressure to be applied to the swollen region. This means that the pooling of fluid can be reduced, the limb size and shape preserved and the lymphatic circulation supported and improved. Compression garments provide graduated compression and are available in a variety of styles, sizes, colours and grades of compression (class 1-IV). Severe swelling usually requires stronger support than mild swelling.

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Liposuction

Liposuction for the treatment of lymphoedema was pioneered in Sweden by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Professor Hakan Broson and recently introduced into Australia by Dr Helen Mackie.

Liposuction is not a cure for lymphoedema and ongoing rehabilitation and compression therapy is a necessary component of the long-term management. However, it can have a positive outcome in terms of reducing the swelling in the arm and leg, increasing patient comfort and benefiting patients emotionally and socially.

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Lymph Node Transfer

Lymph node transfer is an innovative option for surgery for management of early lymphoedema. Lymph node transfer involves surgically moving lymph nodes from a region of the body or unaffected limb to a region within the limb affected by lymphoedema to try to 'kick-start' the lymphatic system. The ultimate goal of this surgery is that in time the body incorporates the new nodes and they can begin to function successfully, draining fluid naturally.

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Lymphovenous Anastomosis (LVA)

Lymphatic fluid surrounds the cells and tissues of the body and not only keeps the cells healthy, but also helps drain away waste products. Lymph vessels transport lymphatic fluid from the limbs through the lymph nodes to larger lymphatic vessels which in turn join to large veins at the bottom of the neck. When the lymphatic system is not working properly, the lymph fluid builds up and causes swelling, leading to the condition known as lymphoedema.

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