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The Haven Lymphoedema Self Management Service

What is Lymphoedema?

The Haven Lymphoedema Self Management Service

Lymphoedema is swelling caused when the lymphatic system does not easily drain fluid from areas of the body.

Lymphoedema affects 1 in 5 people who have lymph nodes removed for cancer treatment but it also has many other causes. At The Haven we support people with both cancer related and non cancer related Lymphoedema.

Although lymphoedema may be a long term condition, it can be improved through our Haven Lymphoedema Self Management Service.

We understand that lymphoedema can be an extremely distressing condition so we offer hope, care and practical support to help you to self-manage lymphoedema and reduce your risk of any problems caused by lympoedema.


I was very anxious when I was first diagnosed with lymphoedema. I was anxious that I would do something that would make it worse. I found the course was very beneficial. I realised I wasn’t alone with this. You were given the tools and information to help you manage the condition and that reduced anxiety for meLymphoedema client


What do we offer?

Healthy Lymphatics Information session

This is a welcoming, informative two hour group session for people at risk of lymphoedema, particularly those who have had cancer treatment. You will learn how to care for your lymphatic system and prevent future lymphoedema problems.

Lymphoedema Self-Management Course

This is a unique course developed at The Haven by our specialist Lymphoedema team. Each course consists of:

  • Four group sessions of two hours with around 6-8 people
  • An individual session for you with a lymphoedema therapist

Course content includes:

  • understanding your lymphatic system
  • skin care
  • compression garments
  • exercise for the lymphatics
  • practical skills such as kinesio-taping and self-bandaging
  • emotional wellbeing

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

This is a safe, gentle, relaxing and very effective massage. It improves lymph drainage, reduces swelling and scarring and improves your skin.


How do I recognise if I have Lymphoedema?

The most common sign of lymphoedema is swelling of a limb. You might notice heaviness in your arm or leg or tightness in your clothing, shoes or jewellery. Swelling is not always obvious in early stages and may reduce at night, become worse in the heat, after certain activities or with lack of movement.

If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions you may be at risk of lymphoedema.

  • Do you have heaviness or swelling in any of these areas: arm/hand, leg/foot, breast/chest, abdomen, buttocks/genitals, head/face?
  • Have you had cancer treatment
  • Have you had surgery or radiotherapy to your lymph nodes?
  • Have you had cellulitis (infection)?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions then please contact us for more information.