Down South Lymphoedema

Down South Lymphoedema, Margaret River and Cowaramup, Western Australia

Margaret River & Cowaramup

Western Australia

What Causes Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema/Chronic Oedema may also be caused by multiple factors, such as:

  • Venous disease
  • Immobility and dependency
  • Obesity
  • Lipoedema (abnormal fat accumulation under the skin)
  • Cancer or other chronic palliative medical conditions
  • Lymphoedema can also occur due to genetic malformation of the lymphatic system. Onset of swelling may not occur until adolescence or adulthood (Primary Lymphoedema).

What is Lymphoedema?

Localised swelling in various parts of the body caused by an abnormal accumulation of lymph (fluid). Lymphoedema can occur following removal of lymph nodes, damage to lymph nodes or lymphatic vessels with surgery and/or radiotherapy related to cancer treatment, recurrent cellulitis, or following injury (Secondary Lymphoedema).

Early warning signs

  • Persistent, unexplained swelling of the limbs
  • Aching, heaviness, stiffness, fullness in the affected body part
  • Decreased range of movement and/or tightness of the affected body part – clothing, jewelery or shoes may feel tight
  • Recurrent infection (Cellulitis)

Effective treatment and management of lymphoedema will involve pyschosocial support and interventions that optimise quality of life, give empowerment and facilitate self-management

Down South Lymphoedema, Accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner, Margaret River and Cowaramup, Western Australia
Down South Lymphoedema and Physiotherapy, Margaret River, Western Australia

What can you do about lymphoedema?

Early detection and treatment will significantly improve your outcomes

Visit your GP or medical specialist to discuss these symptoms

Contact Down South Lymphoedema Practitioner for a specialised treatment plan that suits your lifestyle as lymphoedema will probably require lifelong management

CLT – Complex Lymphoedema Therapy includes:

    • Education
    • Exercises
    • Compression Therapy – bandaging, garments, intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) pump.
    • Skin care
    • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage
    • Low Level Laser Therapy – particularly useful for scar management

Psychosocial implications of having a Lymphoedema diagnosis?

Lymphoedema being a chronic condition requires the need for lifelong management which takes some adjustment, psychologically, financially and physically. The impact on body image, quality of life and for those people who have cancer-related lymphoedema, the constant ‘reminder’ of having been through cancer. Depression and anxiety can result if there is a lack of support. At Down South Lymphoedema we are acutely aware of these issues and will help you with support and strategies that improve your quality of life. Jenny has access to other specialised health professionals who can also help you with these issues.

Services at Down South Lymphoedema

Chronic Oedema

Assessment including L-Dex (measures lymphoedema in single arm/leg), tailored treatment plan involves education, Complex Lymphoedema Treatment: manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage, exercises, compression therapy and skin care. Effective treatment of Lymphoedema will reduce the risk of infection in the tissues just under the skin (Cellulitis). As Lymphoedema is a chronic condition I believe a ‘supportive partnership approach’ with you will help and guide you in your self-management of this condition.

Genetic Conditions eg Lipoedema, Milroy’s Disease

Lipoedema affects mainly women and is a painful swelling which usually starts in the legs but can also affect the arms and trunk. Lipoedema occurs because of abnormal accumulation of fat under the skin, it is not Obesity. Milroy’s Disease, a genetic disease causing swelling often in the legs, is a congenital abnormality in the lymphatic system. Education, support and a management plan to help you manage your chronic conditions.

Leaking Legs / Lymphorrhea

This is a debilitating and can be an alarming condition which can be effectively treated with compression therapy. The skin is cleaned, dressed and graduated compression bandages are applied in layers. Usually the leaking stops within 48 hours of effective compression.

Cording / Axillary Web Syndrome

This can occur after Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) or Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (ALND) in people undergoing treatment for breast cancer. It feels like a web of tight, rope like structures in your armpit. These can be painful and makes movement of your arm difficult. Treatment includes: stretching, gentle massage, Low Level Laser Therapy, heat and elastic taping (Kinesiotaping).

Leg (Venous) Ulcers & Venous Eczma/Venous Stasis Dermatitis

These usually occur when there are problems with blood flow (circulation) in your leg veins. I work closely with wound care nurses who assess, clean and dress the ulcer. After which I apply graduated compression bandaging. This has been shown to be the most effective way of treating venous leg ulcers. Venous Eczma usually occurs in the lower legs and ankle, the skin looks reddish, yellowish or brown colour. The veins are unable to move the blood from your legs and over time pressure builds up and the blood leaks out of your veins into your skin. Compression therapy works well for this condition.

Before and After Cancer Surgery Rehabilitation

Specific exercises before and after surgery for cancer can help you regain your strength and get you back to daily activities. I also use L-Dex (Lymphoedema Index) to detect early stages of cancer-related Lymphoedema. Research has shown early detection and intervention of cancer-related lymphoedema significantly reduces the risk of Chronic Oedema/Lymphoedema. Physical activity reduces the risk of developing some cancers, improves the effect of many cancer treatments and helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Palliative Care

An holistic approach to managing cancer-related lymphoedema in Palliative patients is an integral part of my work in this area. My aim is to maintain independence of these patients and include family members, carers and other health professionals in managing the Lymphoedema whilst respecting and understanding the patient’s wishes. I am passionate about treating people in Palliative care and find it the most rewarding part of my work.

Preventative Compression Garments

I can measure, prescribe and order compression garments for you ‘just in case’ to prevent you from developing Lymphoedema/Chronic Oedema. If you are ‘at risk’ of developing Lymphoedema after cancer treatment but do not have Lymphoedema, studies show that wearing graduated compression garments prescribed by a trained Lymphoedema Practitioner can significantly reduce that risk.

About Jenny Pope

Jenny is an experienced, accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner after successfully completing post graduate Lymphoedema training (Level 1) in 2009 and Advanced Lymphoedema training (Level 2) in 2013. Jenny is a UK-trained Physiotherapist, who has extra training in Hydrotherapy (exercises in water) and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Physiotherapy from Curtin university. Jenny is a member of the International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF) and Australasian Lymphology Association and stays up-to-date with research in the field of Lymphoedema by regularly attending conferences, workshops and webinars.

Jenny has worked in clinical and community settings working both in Australia and overseas, including Canada, the UK and New Zealand. In recent years Jenny worked for the Cancer Council of WA (CCWA) as a senior Lymphoedema Physiotherapist at the Lymphoedema Management Service in Nedlands. Jenny has also worked in her own private practice for over 25 years in both Sydney and the Eastern suburbs of Perth where she was involved in caring for people with Lymphoedema in her clinics, in their homes and in Aged Care settings. Jenny was the primary facilitator for 7 years of the CCWA Lymphoedema Cancer Support group which provides support and information to people with cancer-related Lymphoedema. Jenny is very passionate about raising awareness of Lymphoedema and has presented to organisations such as the Cancer Council of WA, Silver Chain, GP Down South, CWA, YWCA’s Encore (an exercise and education programme for women with breast cancer) and to allied health professionals.

At Down South Lymphoedema, Jenny is passionate to give the best Lymphoedema management/treatment which involves early detection, subsequent monitoring, education, compression therapy, skin care and exercises which are designed specifically for your individual needs.

You can make an appointment to see Jenny at the Cowaramup Medical Surgery or if you live in Margaret River area you can see me at 4/14 Fearn Avenue, MR. Augusta and surrounding areas I can do home visits if you have difficulty in getting to either Cowaramup or Margaret River.

Jenny Pope Lymphoedema Physiotherapist, Margaret River and Cowaramup, Western Australia

Make a Booking or Get in Touch

Down South Lymphoedema

No referral is required if you have private health cover. However if you want to claim through Medicare, you will need a Health Care Plan from your GP. You can access 5 Lymphoedema consultations in a 12 month period. DVA Gold card, NDIS and Home Care Agency referrals are accepted.

Most appointments are 60 minutes long. If you only require certain treatments such as Low Level Laser, measuring and/or fitting of compression garments, L-Dex and tape measurements, please allow 30-45 minutes.

Wear loose fitting clothes which are easy to get in and out of. Do not use perfumed moisturisers, aftershaves etc as this can affect some of the monitoring tools and treatments for Lymphoedema.

Payments can be made via HICAPs (for private health funds) please bring your private health fund card with you. Payments can also be made via Electronic Funds Transfer, credit card or cash. Medicare rebates can be processed for you immediately. Please note that there is a gap payment applicable at the time of consultation. We do NOT bulk bill.

Yes, I do home visits, there is a small extra charge for these. Telehealth consultations are also available

Tuesdays – 9am – 5pm Cowaramup Surgery
Down South Lymphoedema

33 Bussell Highway COWARAMUP WA 6284
Phone: (08) 9755 9777

Thursdays – 9am – 5pm Fearn Health and Wellbeing
Down South Lymphoedema

4/14 Fearn Ave MARGARET RIVER WA 6285
Phone: 0488 798 696

Home Visits & Telehealth Available
Please contact Down South Lymphoedema to arrange
Phone: 0488 798 696