Physiotherapy for lymphoedema


A special type of massage that helps reduce uncomfortable swelling caused by lymphoedema (build-up of fluid)

Physio to reduce swelling

If you develop lymphoedema after having cancer treatment, a type of physio called manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) can help relieve the symptoms. Your physiotherapist uses light, rhythmic massage techniques to move excess fluid (lymph) towards healthy lymphnodes. These lymphnodes then drain the fluid through your lymphatic system, as normal.

This type of physiotherapy can reduce the swelling and discomfort caused by the build-up of fluid. By stimulating the flow of lymph, MLD can also help strengthen your immune system. MLD is one aspect of decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) or complex decongestive therapy (CDT). Therefore, physiotherapists usually recommend compression bandages, special skincare and exercises to do at home alongside MLD. They also teach you simple massage techniques.

You might need to have MLD every day for a few weeks. Your physiotherapist will create a treatment plan that's right for you.

Our physiotherapy teams

Across the HCA UK network we offer physiotherapy to our inpatients, and on an outpatient basis.

Each physiotherapy team is made up of experienced physios who specialise in different areas of physiotherapy including musculoskeletal, respiratory, neurological and maternity.

Whether you're an inpatient or outpatient a physiotherapist will work with you to design a therapy plan that suits your individual needs in frequency and intensity.

Physiotherapy at HCA UK is covered by most major insurers and is also available on a self pay basis.