WELCOME TO WATERSHED LYMPHOEDEMA THERAPY
Our vision is to provide an effective lymphoedema service that is culturally sensitive and accessible to everyone. We aim to treat lymphoedema and empower people with tools to self-manage and improve their quality of life.
As qualified nurses in lymphoedema management we recognise the importance of a comprehensive holistic assessment. Using this information we can identify the cause of the swelling. We will then formulate a management plan incorporating your individual goals.
We utilise a combination of the following treatments to facilitate initial reduction of the swelling and provide ongoing maintenance therapy:
Manual lymphatic drainage – a gentle massage which seeks to move fluid from the affected area across the watersheds to an adjacent functioning area.
Skincare to maintain skin integrity and prevent portals for infection.
Remedial exercises to support lymphatic through the skeletal muscle pump
Compression bandages and/or garments to facilitate the return of lymphatic fluid.
Who may benefit from lymphoedema treatment?
If you have developed swelling of your limbs following cancer diagnosis, surgery, chronic venous insufficiency, primary lymphoedema or lipoedema, this treatment may help to manage the swelling.
We may need further information and/or permission from GP or oncologist before commencing treatment.
We also offer oncology massage – a gentle soothing and relaxing massage
Goals of Care
The goal of our care at Watershed Lymphoedema is to make a difference to your swelling through an individualised programme. This may include bandaging, manual lymphatic drainage or referral for garments as appropriate.
Meet the Team
We would love to meet you to fully discussed treatment options and formulate a plan for your individual needs.
Information about Lymphoedema
So what is Lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is a symptom of a disease and not a disease in itself. This means there could be multiple reasons why someone develops swelling of a limb.The lymphatic system is responsible for returning fluid (lymph) that has seeped into the tissues back to the heart.
There are two primary reasons why swelling occurs.
1. Failure of the lymphatic system
The lymphatic system may be compromised or blocked by infection,
surgery, congenital abnormalities, or cancer. This causes swelling of the limbs.
2. Increased lymph volume in the tissues
The lymph volume may increase because of disease in the veins, heart failure, kidney complications, and low protein. The tissues become waterlogged and swelling of the limb results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who may benefit from lymphoedema treatment?
If you have developed swelling of your limbs following cancer diagnosis, surgery, chronic venous insufficiency, primary lymphoedema or lipoedema this treatment may help to manage the swelling. We may need further information and/or permission from GP or oncologist before commencing treatment.
What should I wear to my appointment?
Please wear comfy loose clothes that can be easily be removed when needed. We will ensure that you are warm and your dignity is maintained at all times.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring a list of your current medications, a copy of doctors’ letter or any discharge hospital letters you may have
Any garments or bandages you may have been wearing
Bring a drinks bottle – it is important to maintain hydrated
Can I bring a support person?
Yes, absolutely. We encourage you to bring whanau/friends if you would like to do so.
Are your clinic rooms wheelchair friendly?
Yes, please let us know if you need any additional help
Is there parking close by?
What would I experience on my first visit?
The visit would generally be an assessment visit where we can obtain details of your condition, examine your swelling and develop a plan.
What about subsequent visits?
The frequency of visits and type of treatment will depend on your situation. We will always work with you to formulate your gaols and to ensure you understand your treatment and the role you need to play.
Is lymphoedema massage painful?
No, it is a light gentle massage that should feel very relaxing. If you do experience pain or redness of the skin please tell us so we can modify our techniques.
How does lymphoedema massage differ from other massages?
There are many different types of massage but they generally focus on the deep muscle layers – to relax muscles, knots and tension and ease pain. Lymphoedema massage focusses on moving lymph fluid that resides just below the skin. It therefore has to be very gentle and light with slow rhythmic strokes
As per clinic policy we will wear masks.
Please do not come to the clinic if you feel unwell.
We understand that you may be unable to attend a session, but please do give as much notice of cancelation as possible.