What is NIRF Lymphatic Imaging?
Sometimes this is referred to as ICG Lymphography or Lymphofluoroscopy. For the first time technology has made it possible for us to visualise fluid moving through the lymphatics. What this means is that by injecting a very small amount of tracer and using a special camera, we can see the lymphatic vessels and fluid under the skin. This allows us to see how well they are working, where they are draining and areas of lymphatic problems.
What does this involve?
You will receive an intradermal injection (just under the skin), usually in 2 places on the hand or foot. Often, within minutes we will be able observe the initial dispersion, we will watch the contractibility of the lymphatics or immediate effect of drainage. You will then be asked to leave for about 2 hours and exercise the arm or leg so we can see drainage pathways and how far the tracer has travelled or where there are any problems.
Does it hurt and is it safe?
While the injection may sting just like any other injection, the mapping procedure itself is painless. Some patients comment on a slight itching at the injection site which should ease over a short period of time. You may also experience a small green discolouration at the injection point, this is to be expected and will disperse naturally. ICG has been used for over 40 years, very safely and successfully. With the tiny amounts used in fluoroscopy there have never been any reported cases of adverse effects.
Appointments include the initial consultation followed by an assessment. Following the assessment, comprehensive feedback will be provided to both yourself and others involved in your care. You will be sent the video recording and a full report showing the results of your assessment and the NIRFL Imaging. In addition, you and your therapist will be sent a tailored manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) treatment plan.
What is the importance of an extended appointment?
It is important that we generate an accurate representation of your lymphatics by ensuring that all possible pathways are mapped over the necessary amount of time. If the pathways are functioning normally, the tracer moves much faster than in areas with lymphoedema. When there is a lymphatic problem the tracer can take a longer period of time and taking the time to fully map the pathways will help to ensure that any lymphatic abnormalities and draining possibilities are found. Not all NIRFL Imaging providers explore the lymphatic system to this extent so we appreciate that it can be a long day. We find that the additional time spent investigating is beneficial to both patient and therapist.
Can I bring someone to the appointment with me?
We realise it is sometimes easier to have a partner, relative or friend with you, so of course you may bring someone. For confidentiality reasons, we need your agreement that they can be part of the session, or they can wait in the waiting area. You may also bring your MLD therapist, should you wish to do so.
What will the screening program offer me?
By undergoing our screening program, we can identify your risk and early development of lymphoedema. Through this we can offer you appropriate treatment or longer term monitoring. NIRFL Imaging mapping offers the earliest identification of lymphoedema, even before you may feel its development such as a heavy arm or leg, tight rings or marks from your clothing.
How much does it cost?
The cost of an appointment varies depending on the location and your individual requirements. Please contact us using the details overleaf to discuss this in more detail and receive up-to-date pricing.
How can I book an appointment?
To arrange an appointment please contact us by calling 0330 010 1318 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I find out more information?
If you are looking for more information, the best option is to give us a call and we can answer any of your questions. Alternatively, speak with your FG-MLD trained Lymphoedema therapist or you can read more online in the articles below: