Tel: 07977 883141       Email:

MLD for Lymphoedema

What is Lymphoedema?

There are two types of Lymphoedema, Primary and Secondary.

Primary Lymphoedema is usually determined from birth and arises due to some failure of the lymphatic system itself - usually with the under-development of the lymphatic system. It may develop without any obvious cause at different stages in life, particularly in adolescence.

Secondary Lymphoedema is the result of some problem outside of the lymphatic system that prevents it working properly. This includes:

  • Surgery, particularly when lymph nodes are removed after treatment for cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Cancer itself may also result in a blockage of the lymphatic system
  • Accidental trauma/injury or infection that may damage the lymph vessels
  • Reduced mobility/paralysis - muscle contractions are important to help lymph movement

Unfortunately, most of the underlying causes of lymphoedema are irreversible and, there is currently no known cure. However, appropriate treatment can reduce the swelling and keep it to a minimum, dramatically improving quality of life.

How Does Lymphoedema Progress?

Initially, lymphoedema maybe very slight and not always noticeable. It may also be intermittent, for example, the swelling may be minimal in the morning, but become more apparent as the day goes on, especially in warm weather. It is often possible to use simple measures to resolve the swelling at this stage so treatment should always be started as soon as possible, preferably in the 'latency' stage.

If left untreated, the swelling over time becomes more permanent, doesn't subside overnight and the area will begin to feel increasingly hard and solid. This is due to the build up of proteins as well as fluid in the tissues. As drainage cannot be 'encouraged' to the lymph nodes which have been removed or damaged (because they aren't there or they can't work anymore), MLD promotes lymph flow to alternative drainage routes.

Treatment for Lymphoedema

The first appointment will include a full consultation and examination, and discussion regarding treatment protocols, including whether MLD is appropriate for you, how frequent the appointments should be, and how long each session will take.

The standard treatment for lymphoedema is Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT). There are four cornerstones of DLT:

  • Compression (bandages or garment)
  • Manual lymph drainage (MLD)
  • Exercises
  • Skin care

Treatment consists two phases, intensive and maintenance. The intensive phase involves frequent treatment with MLD and bandaging.

The maintenance phase begins when there is no further reduction in the oedema, usually after 2-3 weeks. Then a compression garment may be recommended. This is an important part of swelling control. The garments work by compressing the swollen tissues and stopping fluid from building up. At the same time, they help to move the fluid to an area that is draining well. The support allows the muscles to pump fluid away more effectively. The design of the garments means that more pressure is applied in certain areas to encourage the fluid to drain.

If you are a lymphoedema sufferer and would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 07977 883141 or via email at

I have recently been accepted as a registered MLD therapist with BUPA.

I am registered with the British Lymphology Society, MLDUK and Lipoedema UK, and am insured to offer both intensive and maintenance DLT treatments in Sleaford and the surrounding area, either in your own home, or in clinic settings in Sleaford, Grantham or Newark.

Customer Comments

"I have been having regular MLD sessions with Lesley for arm lymphoedema and found MLD very effective in its on-going maintenance. The combination of MLD and the Hivamat treatment has also completely sorted the cording that came after lymph node removal. It is amazing that so gentle a treatment can have such a beneficial effect. With her warm, bubbly, friendly manner, Lesley is a skilled MLD therapist who cares about her clients. In fact, she goes out of her way to be helpful and to find information and solutions for anything that crops up (taping scars, self bandaging, what to do in case of cellulitis ...) Lesley inspires trust, because it is obvious that she is very committed to her work and has high professional standards. She derives enormous pleasure from treating people and seeing the very positive results that MLD can have."
      Helen, Patient with Arm Lymphoedema

"Please can I take this opportunity to say a massive thank you for all your help and support. The treatment and care you have given me has helped me immeasurably, well that is not strictly true as my swollen legs have MEASURABLY decreased in inches since seeing you! I was amazed that from my very first visit I saw a distinct improvement in the Lymphoedema that I was suffering in my legs. The combination of your manual lymphatic drainage massage and the Hivamat machine visibly decreased the swelling and gave me more movement back. What a relief! After each visit I felt so much better I just wish I had seen you so much sooner as it would have prevented the condition getting so severe. I also wish more people knew how beneficial MLD massage and the wonderful Hivamat machine is, as it could help them as much as it has me. Although I cannot recommend highly enough the MLD and the Hivamat machine I know that I have also been so very lucky to have had you as the practitioner of them. You have and are so kind and friendly to me that I feel that seeing you as a person has been an effective treatment in itself! Once more, many, many thanks and I look forward to seeing you again soon, Mary"
      Mary, Patient with Bilateral Leg Lymphoedema

"I was finally diagnosed with Lymphoedema, having had very big legs all my life and just couldn't understand why, I'm not a slim Jim, but have always eaten a healthy diet. My legs have got much worse over the later years and finally I know why. This really upset me and took some time for me to come to terms with it, but eventually, I decided to see what help was available. I came across Lesley’s website and took the plunge and rang her. As soon as I spoke to her, she was so kind and reassuring and made an appointment to visit me at home. She then explained my condition, Primary Lymphoedema, and the treatment which was necessary to get my legs into a shape to be able to wear compression tights. The treatment involved was MLD followed by bandaging on both legs. Lesley came to my home for 3 hours every morning for 3 weeks. The MLD was fine, and so she also used her 'Magic Gadget' (Deep Oscillation Therapy), which was great. Then came the bandaging (which I must admit I hated) and I was at a very low ebb, but Lesley, bless her, was there for me with encouragement and support. After the 3 weeks my legs were in a better shape and it was time to put on the compression tights. I found this very difficult but, once again, Lesley gave all the help I needed. She went above and beyond duty to help me, and yes, I have conquered putting them on. I still hate the thought of wearing them, but I know there is no alternative if I want to control the condition. I must tell you that the MLD treatment is not available through the NHS in my area. Having someone come to my home was so much more convenient and far less stressful for me. Lesley did suggest that swimming would be a good exercise for my legs. I told her that I hadn't been in a swimming pool for over 30 years, always being embarrassed about my legs, but she gave me the confidence to have a go, which I have done and it was brilliant, I feel really pleased with myself! It’s a pity I can’t have a pool at home, so will have to keep doing the lottery!! One last thank you, Lesley, you are so dedicated in what you do, I only hope other people with this complaint will read this and know there is help out there."
      Wendy, Primary Lymphoedema Sufferer

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