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Information for Doctors and Health Care Professionals

This section of the website and the information within it is designed for health care professionals and contains photographs of lymphoedema at all stages, this includes advanced, untreated lymphoedema with significant skin changes. The LSN believes it is important for Doctors and Nurses to be able to see these pictures for reference but would suggest that patients choosing to view this area do so with caution.

Whilst studies carried out in 2003 suggested that there were at least 100,000 individuals living with lymphoedema in the UK (Moffatt et al, lymphoedema: an underestimated health problem. QJM med, 2003, 96: 731-738), recent research suggests that lymphoedema affects at least 240,000 men, women and children living in the UK. Despite this prevalence, many health care professionals have very little experience of diagnosing the condition and are unsure about current treatment options. Unfortunately, this means that it is not uncommon for those living with the condition to remain undiagnosed for many years or to be told that ‘there is nothing that can be done’ to aid them in its management. Although lymphoedema is a long-term condition which cannot be cured, its main symptoms of swelling and the risk of infection can, with appropriate treatment, be controlled and often significantly improved.

The information in this section is written by leading lymphoedema specialists and the Lymphoedema Support Network to assist General Practitioners, community nursing teams and other health care practitioners to recognise and assess lymphoedema, offer initial advice to their patients, refer appropriately for specialist treatment and provide ongoing self-management support.

If you need further information or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0207 351 4480 or at and we will do our very best to assist you ourselves or direct your enquiry appropriately.

British Lymphology Society If you are a health care professional with an interest in lymphoedema, you may wish to visit the BLS website.

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