The Lymphoedema Service is based in the Therapy Department, at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro. We are currently unable to offer this service elsewhere in Cornwall. The service is provided by experienced Occupational Therapists with specialist qualifications in lymphoedema management, with the support of a Lymphoedema Technician.
We will see patients with oedema that has been present for more than three months or is related to cancer and its treatment. This includes:
Due to the underdevelopment or failure of the lymphatic system. It may develop without any obvious cause at different stages in life, but particularly in adolescence and during the menopause.
As the result of some problem outside of the lymphatic system that prevents it working properly such as cancer and treatment for cancer, surgery, injury or infection, reduced mobility / paralysis, obesity and problems with veins such as varicose veins.
An adipose tissue disorder that is characterised by abnormal fat deposition of the lower limbs and tenderness.
For more information on lymphoedema, you may find this short video useful.
Treatments may include:
You may be asked to get onto a couch to enable the therapist to assess you. If you have difficulty getting in and out of a chair or bed, or need special equipment to help you, please let the clinic know before you come to your appointment.
If you think you would like someone else to be present, you are welcome to bring a friend, family member or carer or ask us to provide a chaperone for you.
At the end of your initial assessment we will agree a treatment plan. We’ll rarely start treatment at this initial appointment and you’ll need to return to the clinic for further appointments.
Find out more about coming to the Royal Cornwall Hospital
If you have lymphoedema, the build-up of fluid in your tissues makes you more vulnerable to infection and your lymphatic system, in the affected area, does not function adequately to fight infection. Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the deep layer of skin (dermis) that often affects people with lymphoedema. Cellulitis can also sometimes cause lymphoedema.
Symptoms of cellulitis can include:
Contact your doctor immediately as you will need antibiotic treatment. For information on the type of antibiotics used in the treatment of cellulitis in lymphoedema, see the Cellulitis Consensus Document. You can take this to your GP to help them to treat you.