Lymphoedema is a lifelong condition for which there is no cure. It is a swelling of body tissue caused by failure of the lymphatic system.
It can be primary – due to congenital insufficiency of the lymphatic vessels; or secondary – when it may arise as a result of cancer or its treatment. It is debilitating, uncomfortable and in some cases painful.
This condition has a profound effect on quality of life for individuals and their families. It is a chronic condition and the patient needs regular check-ups (and possibly further intensive treatment) for the rest of their life.
Untreated lymphoedema causes considerable morbidity and requires regular district nursing attention for weeping legs (lymphorrhoea) and associated leg ulcers and it often results in hospital admissions with recurrent cellulitis.
The Lymphoedema service aims to:
Offer a comprehensive Lyphoedema Specialist Practitioner led service for patients with Lymphoedema and Chronic oedema registered with a Richmond GP.
Provide a comprehensive community based service for patients with Lymphoedema; with access to appropriate treatment nearer to their homes, hence avoiding hospital treatments and improving the patient’s quality of life.
Provide the highest quality treatment, advisory and support service to patients with chronic oedema, in order to prevent or delay complications of chronic oedema and prepare the patient for long-term independence.
Maintain a close working relationship with GPs and other primary care staff. It will be a resource to promote the management of oedema, providing specialist advice and education to health care professionals commonly encountering this condition.