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Find out more about

Lipoedema

Lipoedema is a is a chronic condition that makes you accumulate fat below the waist, and sometimes in the arms too. It can make  hips, buttocks and legs that are out of proportion with your upper body and waist. It can be painful and affect daily life, or may not be noticeable for many years.

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Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis

Symptoms

  • A change in weight and disproportionate shape are the main symptoms.

  • Tenderness and painful legs are commonly reported symptoms by those affected. 

  • Some report the sensation of severely heavy legs.

  • The tissue in the affected areas can have a 'grainy' feel to it.

Causes

The changes in body shape are caused by an increase in adipose tissue (fat). This increase around the legs usually begins during hormonal changes in the body such as pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.

Treatments

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Background

Lymphoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues. It can affect any part of the body, but usually develops in the arms or legs.

It develops when the lymphatic system does not work properly. The lymphatic system is a network of channels and glands throughout the body that helps fight infection and remove excess fluid.

 

It's important that lymphoedema is identified and treated as soon as possible. If it is not treated, it can get worse.

Symptoms of lymphoedema

The main symptom of lymphoedema is swelling in all or part of a limb or another part of the body. It can be difficult to fit into clothes, and jewellery and watches can feel tight.

At first, the swelling may come and go. It may get worse during the day and go down overnight. Without treatment, it will usually become more severe and persistent.

 

Other symptoms in an affected body part can include:

  • an aching, heavy feeling

  • difficulty with movement

  • repeated skin infections

  • hard, tight skin

  • folds developing in the skin

  • wart-like growths developing on the skin

  • fluid leaking through the skin

Causes

At LymphVision, our mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals affected by lipodema. We provide comprehensive and customized care to ensure the best possible outcomes. Our team of professionals is experienced in treating lipodema and is dedicated to providing personalised care.  Let us help you find the support you need to manage your condition. Contact us today to discuss your treatment options.

Diagnosing lipoedema

Service Name

See a GP if you experience the typical symptoms of lipoedema, such as ....  They may refer you to a specialist service for further assessment and treatment.

In many cases, lipoedema can be diagnosed from your symptoms and medical history, and by examining the affected body part and measuring the distance around it to see if it's enlarged.

The most accurate way to diagnose Lymphoedema is through Lymphatic Imaging. This could be either Lymphoscintigraphy or ICG Lymphatic Imaging.

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Treating lymphoedema

There's no cure for lymphoedema, but it's usually possible to control the main symptoms using techniques to minimise fluid build-up and stimulate the flow of fluid through the lymphatic system.

These include wearing compression garments, taking good care of your skin, moving and exercising regularly, having a healthy diet and lifestyle, and using specialised massage techniques.

Decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT)

There are 4 components to DLT:

  • compression bandages – to complement exercise by moving fluid out of the affected limb and minimise further build-up

  • skin care – to keep the skin in good condition and reduce the chances of infection

  • exercises – to use muscles in the affected limb to improve lymph drainage

  • specialised massage techniques – known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD); this stimulates the flow of fluid in the lymphatic system and reduces swelling

What happens at an ICG Imaging Appointment?

The ICG Imaging appointments we provide are incredibly comprehensive and aim to ensure that our patients receive the best possible care. Our team of experienced clinicians are dedicated to providing high-quality imaging services to our patients, using state-of-the-art equipment and established protocols. We understand that undergoing medical imaging can be a stressful experience for some patients, which is why we strive to create a comfortable and welcoming environment for everyone who walks through our doors. Whether you attend for a single appointment or a screening programme you can trust that we will take the time to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide you with the care and support you need.

Doctor

Initial consultation

During your initial consultation the clinican will review your medical history, consent for the procedure and answer any questions you may have. 

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Physical assessment

As part of your comprehensive appointment, our clinicans will use a range of clinical devices, measurements and assessment criteria to better understand your lymphoedema and lymphatic status. This helps us to give you insight into your condition and helps to form your report and treatment plan.

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Initial ICG Imaging

We begin your Imaging with a tiny injection of fluorescent dye (usually Indocyanine Green)

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Wait time

As the lymphatic system takes a while to move the dye (ICG), it gives you some time to grab a coffee, have a little walk or simply relax in our comfortable waiting area. Your clinican will let you know what time to return for your phase 2 imaging.

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Second Imaging phase

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Possible second wait time and third Imaging phase

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Results and discussion

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Reporting and treatment plan

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