Lymphoedema Service

In May 2019, St Vincent’s Hospital opened its doors to patients with primary and secondary lymphoedema.

What is lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is the regional accumulation of excessive amounts of protein-rich fluid in the body tissue causing swelling.

Secondary lymphoedema may occur following treatment for cancer, including surgery or radiotherapy, if the lymphatic system is damaged.

Primary lymphoedema occurs due to a congenital abnormality of the lymphatic system.

Our service:

  • Fortnightly assessment clinic
  • Weekly treatment clinic
  • Fortnightly multidisciplinary meetings

If your patient has access to private health insurance, please refer to the Australasian Lymphology Association practitioner directory:

https://www.lymphoedema.org.au/the-register-updated/find-an-ala-accredited-practitioner/

Our team

Rebekah Boffa, Level 1 Lymphoedema Therapist

Laura Burchill, Advanced Lymphoedema Therapist

Dr Sue Hodson, Lymphoedema Doctor

Mr Ramin Shayan, Consulting Plastic Surgeon 

Referral Information

Lymphoedema referral form

Please ensure referral includes:

  • Height / weight / BMI - referrals cannot be triaged without this information
  • Pitting/non-pitting oedema
  • Prior treatment for cancer & previous treatment for lymphoedema
  • Current problems/issues related to lymphoedema – swelling/ache/infection/impaired function
  • Relevant investigations

Please note the eligibility criteria for the service before referring:

Inclusion Criteria

  • Swelling involving upper limb lymphoedema or lower limb lymphoedema
  • Cancer-related lymphoedema resulting from surgery/radiotherapy
  • Breast oedema
  • Secondary lymphoedema resulting from limb trauma e.g. complex fracture
  • Patients with primary lymphoedema
  • Patients with known vascular anomalies
  • Patients who are able to participate in a self-management program

Exclusion Criteria

  • Head and neck cancer patients
  • Genital oedema
  • Patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Venous lymphoedema
  • Leg swelling resulting from morbid obesity (BMI ≥40)
  • Lymphoedema resulting from uncontrolled cardiac conditions or renal disease
  • Thyroid-related oedema
  • Palliative patients if unable to engage in self-management
  • Patients with lymphoedema secondary to lipoedema

Resources

HealthPathways Melbourne – information on assessment, management and referral options for lymphoedema

melbourne.healthpathways.org.au

Guide for diagnosis and management in general practice

GP Information St Vincent's Lymphoedema Service (5 minute GP Update from Dr Susan Hodson)

Webinar - management of secondary lymphoedema in general practice

Patient resource navigator
This resource provides patients with a list of credible online resources about lymphoedema management, services and support organisations.

Clinic Times

Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic – Tuesday 9am (fortnightly)
Lymphoedema Treatment Clinic – Tuesdays (weekly)

From February 2020, there will be an additional weekly Wednesday clinic

Location:

Level 3
100 Victoria Parade
East Melbourne

Contact us

GP Enquiries
Tel: 9231 2898
Please FAX referrals to: 9231 3489

 

Urgent referral enquiries
Email: lymphoedemaservice@svha.org.au (please do not email clinical information)
Tel: 9231 1971 (Tuesdays & Wednesdays)