What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a chronic long-term disease that causes swelling in the body’s tissues. While it can affect any part of the body it mostly develops in the arms and the legs. There are two types of lymphoedema Primary and Secondary.

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

It is crucial that lymphoedema is identified and treated as soon as possible to prevent it getting worse and avoid damaging the lymphatic system further.  Lymphoedema can be detrimental to both physical and mental health and it is crucial to find support to improve your lymphatic health and wellbeing.

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Chronic Oedema

Chronic oedema is classified as oedema that has been present for more than three months. It may coexist with lymphoedema but may be complicated by the following:

  • cardiac failure

  • immobility

  • venous disease

Immobility is likely to lead to oedema.

The Lymphatic System

Introducing the Lymphatic System.  The lymphatic system is made up of groups of lymph nodes throughout the body which are connected by a network of lymph vessels.  Read more...

Lymphatic System Image

Primary Lymphoedema

Primary Lymphoedema develops because of a fault within the lymphatic system usually because of genetic underdevelopment or weakness of the lymph conducting pathways. This can affect men, women, and children at any age.  Read more...

There are five sub types to primary lymphoedema

Secondary Lymphoedema

Secondary Lymphoedema is a failure of the lymphatic system because of the normally functioning lymphatic system has been damaged by injury, trauma, cancer treatment or obesity.  Read more...

Elevation of arm wearing compressionn

In the beginning I was given a list of do's and don'ts most of which had no medical or scientific reason as to why I shouldn't do them. L-W-O Community loves #mythbusting and we will do this wherever we can.


Your priorities are:






Do as much as you can, do not let your lymphoedema define who you are. Take sensible precautions to avoid infection.  Look after your wellbeing and be kind to yourself. We are here to support. Join our support group.