Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Lymphoedema

1-minute read

Lymphoedema is a type of swelling. It is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid, caused by a problem or blockage of the lymphatic system, that mostly occurs in the arms and legs but occasionally in other parts of the body.

Causes of lymphoedema include:

  • primary lymphoedema — when people are born with an abnormality of the lymphatic system
  • secondary lymphoedema — when there is damage to the lymphatic system. Common causes include surgery (including surgical removal of lymph nodes), trauma, radiation or infection

Follow the links below to find trusted information about lymphoedema.

Last reviewed: August 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Lymphoedema Management

The aims of lymphoedema treatment are to prevent progression of the condition, to reduce odema and then maintain the improvement.

Read more on Australasian Lymphology Association website

Lymphoedema

Read more on Australasian Lymphology Association website

Lymphoedema - what you need to know | Cancer Australia

This information has been developed to help you understand the signs and symptoms of lymphoedema following treatment for cancer and what you can do

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Frequently Asked Questions about Lymphoedema

Read more on Australasian Lymphology Association website

The Management of Secondary Lymphoedema - Workshop module for health professionals | Cancer Australia

This workshop module aims to provide health professionals with an understanding of best practice relating to the management of secondary lymphoedem

Read more on Cancer Australia website

Self Management

Read more on Australasian Lymphology Association website

Lymphatic system - myDr.com.au

The lymphatic system comprises a network of tiny vessels that carry lymph, the lymph nodes and the organs of the lymphatic system.

Read more on myDr website

Breast Cancer | Counterpart

Information about types of breast cancer, treatment options and life after treatment

Read more on Counterpart - Women supporting women with cancer website

Treatment for early melanoma - Cancer Council Victoria

Melanoma that is found early (stages 0–2 or localised melanoma) can generally be treated successfully with surgery.

Read more on Cancer Council Victoria website

Side Effects - Head & Neck Cancers - Cancer Council Victoria

Head and neck cancer, and its treatment, can cause temporary or permanent side effects that require ongoing management and rehabilitation.

Read more on Cancer Council Victoria website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo