Treatment for lymphoedema aims to reduce and control swelling, help with discomfort, and stop fluid build-up.
It should make the affected area less swollen, easier to move and feel more comfortable. Sometimes, it may take several weeks or months before you notice much improvement.
Your lymphoedema specialist will talk to you about the right treatment for your situation. You will usually have more than one type of treatment, as they work better when used together.
The main treatments for lymphoedema are:
- skin care
- exercise and keeping active
- positioning of the limb or area
- a type of massage called lymphatic drainage.
You may have other treatments, including taping and surgery, but these are less common.
These treatments usually help reduce lymphoedema, wherever it is in the body. Your lymphoedema specialist will explain the best way of managing lymphoedema in areas of the body that are more difficult to treat. This includes the breast or chest, head and neck area and the genitals.
To start with, you may have more regular treatment from your lymphoedema specialist. After this, the specialist will talk to you about how you can manage the lymphoedema yourself.