Frequently Asked Questions

How can lymphoedema be recognised?

Other conditions may cause the same symptoms. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur: Swelling of an arm or leg, which may include fingers and toes. A full or heavy feeling in an arm or leg. A tight feeling in the skin. Trouble moving a joint in the arm or... Read more »

Can Lymphoedema be cured?

Lymphoedema is essentially incurable but it can be managed very successfully.

Do diuretics help lymphoedema?

There is no evidence that diuretics help. They may just give you side effects or hypokalaemia.

What are the stages of Lymphoedema?

  There are four stages of lymphoedema Stage 0 : (latent  or subclinical ) In this stage the transport capacity of the lymphatic system is reduced, but the remaining lymph vessels are sufficient to manage the flow of lymph, and swelling is not visibly present. Stage 1 : (spontaneously reversible): Tissue is still at the... Read more »

What happens when initial intensive treatment begins?

An individual assessment is essential to ascertain suitability for the treatment. The complete treatment plan will include:

  • written request for medical consensus prior to treatment
  • photographs and measurements before and after the treatment
  • an intensive period of treatment based on individual needs
  • progress report post treatment for referring GP and/or Consultant
  • referral for compression garments, following initial intensive treatment.

Why is daily bandaging of the limbs used during intensive treatment phase?

Bandages are applied after each MLD treatment to help maintain the reductions achieved with Manual Lymph Drainage and may even cause further reduction. They are short-stretch bandages that resist muscle contraction and are applied with comfortable padding underneath. Bandages are removed when the limb(s) volume is reduced. Thereafter it is replaced with appropriate compression garment.

Why is skin-care so important with lymphoedema?

Skin care is of vital importance and should be stressed to each patient, even those with Stage 1 lymphoedema. The aim of a good skincare routine is to improve and maintain skin integrity by concentrating on:

  1. Protecting the skin
  2. Preventing infection

How can I be sure the therapist is properly qualified?

The specialist to see for lymphedema treatment is a well-trained lymphedema therapist. In many parts of the world (including Ireland.) there are no mandated training standards for lymphedema therapists. Since this lack of standardized qualifications and training  can seriously affect the outcome of your treatment. A group of  internationally recognized schools (NALEA ) agreed on  a set of  standards... Read more »

How much does treatment cost?

Treatment may vary in cost. It is wise to check:

  1. the full cost before you start
  2. if there is any cover on your medical insurance
  3. whether the cost is recoupable on your tax (Med 1 form)

Which Health Insurance covers this treatment?

  • Laya Healthcare approved (for oncology related conditions).
  • Aviva Health approved.

Are there any Contraindications to treatment?

Oedemas caused by Cardiac failure or Renal diseases are not suitable for MLD treatment. If there is any doubt, discuss with your therapist, doctor or consultant.