Find out what to expect when you come to hospital for your appointment at the lymphedema service.

Before your appointment

You will be seen within six weeks of your referral. At your first appointment, please bring any medication you are currently taking.

Please also remember to check your letter for anything specific you have been asked to take with you. In addition, it would be helpful if you could bring the following:

  • your full address and telephone number(s)
  • your appointment card and appointment letter
  • your GP’s name and address
  • money to pay for any prescriptions, or an exemption card
  • a list of questions you may want to ask your practitioner

During your appointment

On your first visit to the clinic the nurse will take a careful and full medical history, paying particular detail to the history of the lymphedema, how and when it developed, and what particular problems it causes you.

The nurse will carefully examine your swollen limb and take some measurements. This may involve removing some of your clothing.

After your appointment

While most patients receive a self-management regime, a more intensive treatment regime may be necessary for some. This may require frequent visits to the clinic over a period of one or two weeks while a course of specialised manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage and lymphedema bandaging is provided. You will be followed up regularly at the clinic to monitor your progress.

Macmillan navigators

As part of the Macmillan Cancer Support and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust partnership, we’ve introduced the Macmillan cancer navigators service.

Macmillan navigators offer a single phone contact for all cancer patients. They can help with booking appointments, accessing local support services and finding answers to any questions. Please call the Macmillan navigators team with any questions you have about your cancer care. Learn more about Macmillan navigators