Lymphedema therapy

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid and proteins in body tissue. Lymphedema can be congenital (primary lymphedema) or acquired as a result of another condition (secondary lymphedema).


If the drainage of lymph fluid is insufficient, swelling can occur, known as lymphedema. Lymphedema develops when glands are removed (for example, after surgery), damaged (for example, by radiation), or when the lymph vessels themselves no longer function properly. Fluid accumulates in an arm or leg (lymphedema). The edema can also accumulate in other parts of the body.


After a breast surgery with axillary lymph node removal or radiation, arm lymphedema can occur. Leg lymphedema may develop after a gynecological operation.


There are various physiotherapeutic treatment options for lymphedema:

  • Manual Lymph Drainage
  • Education and advice
  • Bandaging
  • Lymph taping
  • Measuring for compression stockings (arm or leg)
  • Exercise therapy
  • Psychosocial support
  • Self-management of lymphedema

Manual lymph drainage: is a specific massage technique aimed at promoting the drainage of lymph fluid.
Education and advice provide you with a clear understanding of your condition and how to manage it in daily life.
Bandaging: with compression bandages aims to reduce the edema and the size of the affected body part.
Lymph taping: involves applying lymph tape strips to the skin to stimulate lymph flow.
A compression stocking: is fitted to maintain this reduction in size. Exercise therapy involves specific exercises to reduce symptoms.
Exercise therapy: specific exercises to reduce symptoms.
Self-management: important for independently reducing and controlling lymphedema during and after therapy.
Psychosocial support: Lymphedema is a chronic condition and can be very demanding; it may cause fear, uncertainty, grief, altered self-image, etc.
Yvette van Wegen and Patricia Mosmans are the specialized lymphedema therapists at CloudPhysiotherapist.

Physiotherapy Medi-Mere is affiliated with the NVFL (Dutch Association for Physiotherapy within Lymphology and Oncology).


Want to know more?

For more detailed information:

Dutch Lymphedema Network, the national patient association,

Dutch Association for Physiotherapy within Lymphology (NVFL)

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