Welcome to LYMPHAFRICA.NET.
Africa’s first website dedicated to the patient with lymphoedema.
Here you will find information on all aspects of lymphoedema relevant to the people living in Africa or as we call it: AFROCENTRIC LYMPH CARE.
This is information for the patient in need but also the lymphoedema therapist providing services to the patient somewhere in Africa.
The language used is simplified to increase the understanding of the subject.
What is Lymphoedema?
You have been diagnosed with lymphoedema and now what! Or perhaps you simply have swollen limbs or a swollen limb and you wonder – Is this lymphoedema?
Historically, the term lymphoedema has been used for chronic(long-standing) oedema(swelling) secondary to what was perceived to be lymphatic disease. The more severe the degree of oedema, the better the chance of being labelled as such.
In contrast to lymphoedema, vascular disease was the other major reason for chronic oedema. This distinction however was not always that clear and a large grey area existed which caused confusion. No wonder the ICC conference 2017(Amsterdam) called for the term lymphoedema to be replaced by “chronic oedema”!
Well, discoveries in the last 20 years concerning fluid exchange in the body have completely changed our views of lymphoedema! Let me explain!
The therapist will diagnose, examine the patient and start intensive therapy to reduce swelling. The therapist will normally do manual lymph drainage (MLD) using both hands and/or use intermittent compression therapy (machine) to reduce the oedema as much as possible. MLD is then followed by bandaging of the limb to retain that which has been achieved and even further reduce swelling. This therapy will be repeated daily or as therapist finds suitable, until the circumference remains stable and no further reduction is achieved…