Support for patients
Here is a range of useful tools and resources to help if you, or a friend or relative, has lymphoedema;
- Just diagnosed? The Lymphoedema Support Network is a national, patient led charity that helps support and educate patients, their families and healthcare professionals about lymphoedema. They have a range of resources on their website, including tips for managing your lymphoedema.
- Video to explain what lymphoedema is.
- Useful tips and resources from the British Lymphology Society.
- Patient stories on their experience of lymphoedema.
- The UK NHS Lymphoedema Network Wales specialists and patients have created a collection of 13 short films to help you understand and manage your lymphoedema.
- Search cancer services in your area via Cancer Care Map.
Advice concerning Coronavirus for people with lymphoedema
In nearly all cases lymphoedema alone does not make one more susceptible to the coronavirus. The only exception would be those very rare primary lymphoedema patients who have extensive lymphatic abnormalities involving the chest i.e. lungs, and have generalised immune deficiency; we are assured those patients will know who they are. Take the same precautions as others. Those with compression gloves are advised to take extra care to wash them frequently and if possible wear a plastic glove over it when out and about.
Consensus document on COVID–19 vaccination for patients with lymphoedema
COVID-19 vaccination is advisable for patients with lymphoedema. Patients with forms of genetically inherited lymphoedema associated with weakened immune systems should also have the vaccine.
However, it is possible that these patients may not make a full immune response, and therefore should continue to take precautions.
The vaccination is usually given as an injection into the upper arm. Within the areas of the body affected by lymphoedema, the immune cells which fight infection may not work as well. Vaccination into these areas may therefore result in a weaker immune response and less protection from COVID- 19. Damage to the skin within an area of lymphoedema can also act as an entry site for infection, so careful skin care and protection is advisable for areas of swelling. We therefore recommend that vaccination is avoided in these areas. (further information is contained within the consensus document)