LymphAssist™ Patient Guide
This guide has been developed to help patients understand how the Huntleigh Healthcare LymphAssist® machine can help in the management of Lymphoedema.
LymphAssist should only be used under the supervision of a suitably qualified healthcare professional.
What is Lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is a chronic swelling, usually of a limb, which occurs as a result of a failure to drain lymph. If the lymphatic system is abnormally formed or gets damaged, protein rich fluid (lymph) accumulates in and below the skin layers resulting in swelling (oedema). This in turn leads to an increase in blood flow to the area as the body tries to compensate. As a result, the limb feels heavy, warm and is prone to recurrent infections cellulitis.
There may also be cosmetic concerns for many people living with Lymphoedema.
What treatments are available?
It is Important that you see your doctor who will examine you and decide on the best course of action. You may be referred to other trained professionals for specialist advice. A number of treatments are available that help to reduce the swelling and maintain a healthy limb.
- Skin care to maintain a good skin condition.
- External support and compression using elastic compression garments help to prevent new lymph formation, they also help with lymph drainage.
- A programme of exercise and movement can help to maximize lymph drainage.
- Simple lymphatic drainage based upon the principles of manual lymphatic drainage which involve the use of simple hand movements which can be performed by the patient, carer or therapist.
- Intermittent Compression Pumps (IPC)
Use of the LymphAssist™ System
The LymphAssist™ system from Huntleigh comprises a pump and garment; these are easy to use, safe and effective. It is important that you follow any instructions given to you by your nurse, therapist or doctor.
Before using LymphAssist™ any compression bandaging or hosiery should be removed. The British Lymphology Society (BLS) advises that lymphatic flow should be first stimulated by performing simple (SLD) or manual lymphatic drainage (MLD).
Ensure that you are seated in a comfortable position, place a cylindrical cotton bandage or stockinette on the affected limb if required. Place the garment on the limb to be treated and connect the garment to the pump.
Adjust the settings of the pump to those advised by your healthcare supervisor, then switch the pump on.
After a short while, the garment will gently inflate and deflate and deliver a gentle type of massaging sequence which stimulates the flow of blood and lymph in your affected limb. If the pressures are too high and you are experiencing discomfort, you can reduce the pressure setting on the pump.
It is important that you follow any instructions given to you regarding the duration and frequency of use – use the table in the personal treatment schedule to record your treatment profile. A typical treatment session will take between 30-60 minutes to deliver.
After completing the treatment, the garment and cotton bandage should be removed and simple lymphatic drainage (SLD) procedure repeated to complete the process. If you wear a compression garment, this should now be refitted.
Experience over many years has indicated that there are very few problems encountered by persons using the LymphAssist™ machine. However, should you become breathless or your limb becomes swollen, painful of if the skin becomes red and inflamed during the treatment, you should stop immediately and inform your nurse or doctor as soon as possible.
For Further Lymphoedema Advice - Contact:
The Lymphoedema Support Network:
St Luke’s Crypt Sydney Street London, SW3 6NH
Tel: 020 7351 0990
Tel: 020 7351 4480 (Support Line)
Huntleigh Healthcare - Diagnostic Products Division:Diagnostic Products Division 35 Portmanmoor Road, Cardiff, CF24 5HN.
Tel: +44 (0)29 20485885
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: