If you're being treated for cancer and are at risk of developing lymphoedema, you'll be monitored for the condition afterwards. Otherwise, see your GP if you experience symptoms of swelling.
In many cases, it's possible to diagnose lymphoedema by:
Your GP may refer you to a specialist lymphoedema treatment centre for further assessment.
In most cases, further tests aren't necessary, but they may occasionally be used to assess and monitor your condition. The tests are explained below.
In some cases, tests to calculate the volume of an affected limb may be carried out.
These may include:
During a bioimpedance test, small metallic discs called electrodes are placed on different parts of your body.
The electrodes release a small, painless electric charge that's measured using a handheld device. Changes in the strength of the current can indicate the presence of fluid in your tissue.
Imaging tests may also be used to help diagnose and monitor lymphoedema.
These scans can be used to create a clearer picture of the affected tissue.
Read about lymphoedema, a long-term condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues. It usually develops in the arms or legs.
Read about the causes of primary and secondary lymphoedema. Primary lymphoedema is caused by faulty genes. Secondary lymphoedema can occur if the lymphatic system is damaged.
Information about is diagnosing and monitoring lymphoedema. Sometimes it's necessary to carry out tests, such as measuring limb volume and bioimpedance testing.
Decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) is used for treating lymphoedema. It involves good skin care, using compression bandages, doing exercises, and specialised massage.
Good skin care is important for reducing the risk of getting lymphoedema and stopping it spreading if you already have it. Adopting a healthy lifestyle may also help.