There is it seems some evidence to suggest that MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) can reduce the risk of secondary lymphoedema. The treatment as a preventative measure however is not backed by the NHS unfortunately.
I decided to source and pay for the treatment myself. Why? Well because I firmly believe that it is better to try and prevent an incurable condition than not and also because it gave me peace of mind, allowing someone else to manage and monitor my arm for me. I must point out that this was ignoring the advice of my consultant, who although she knew of and referred her patients who have lymphoedema to the therapist in question, still advised me not to waste my money. For me it’s not a waste. If there is something further I can be doing to reduce my risk of lymphoedema then I’m going to do it. If in the future I get lymphoedema then I will at least have the peace of mind that I did everything I could.
I was lucky to find that the MLD therapist was located within walking distance of my house. I went for an initial consultation to discuss my situation and he proposed a timetable based on the level of my risk.
I have been having MLD once a month since my surgery. This will initially continue for the first 6 months post surgery and will then be reviewed and a new timetable worked out.
I can’t give you any guarantees on this one. All I know is that I am happier knowing that I am doing all I can to reduce my risk.
To find an MLD therapist near you go to www.mlduk.org.uk