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Lymphoedema Whats New


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Title: Lymphoedema Whats New

Lymphoedema Whats New?
  • Maree OConnor
  • Physiotherapist
  • Victorian Lymphoedema Practice

  • Australian lymphoedema recommendations
  • Lymphoedema projects
  • ALA 2008 conference
  • The role of the BCN in lymphoedema management
  • Questions

Lymphoedema Recommendations in Australia
  • The Medical Service Advisory Committee 2004
  • Improved training should be promoted amongst all
    health professionals and that more specialist
    training was needed
  • Department Human Services Vic 2003
  • Highlighted an existing unmet need for services
  • Supported the need for more specialist services
    with equitable access.
  • ALA Lymphoedema National Service Equity Survey
  • Concluded that the distribution of services did
    not meet local demand.

Projects as a result of these recommendations
  • 2006 the ALA established the Education Training
    and Guidelines Subcommittee
  • 2006 Lymphoedema Association of Vic obtained
    funding for a General Practitioner education
  • 2007 NBOCC obtained funding for a Lymphoedema

The ALA Lymphoedema Treatment Workforce Vision
  • Australia New Zealand will have a sustainable
    lymphoedema treatment workforce that is
    knowledgeable, skilled and adaptable.
  • The workforce will be suitably trained and
    competent and will be distributed to achieve
    equitable lymphoedema treatment.
  • The workforce will be valued and be able to work
    within a supportive environment and culture.
  • It will provide safe, quality and supportive care
    that is population and consumer focused and
    capable of meeting the needs of this group of
    consumers within the Australian New Zealand
  • This vision is based on The National Health
    Workforce Strategic Framework 2004

Levels of the ALA National Education Framework
  • Level A Undergraduate education program
  • Level B Lymphoedema education programs for
    health professionals that may come in
    contact with those at risk or who have
  • Level C Lymphoedema management treatment

ALA Goals
  • Australia NZ lymphoedema service equity and
    workforce project.
  • Develop and implement lymphoedema education
    strategies to further develop and support the
    lymphoedema treatment workforce
  • Establish the National Lymphoedema Practitioners
  • Establish a lymphoedema education scholarship

Goal 2 Develop and implement lymphoedema
education strategies to further develop and
support the lymphoedema treatment workforce
  • Develop and implement a national tertiary
    evidence-based, multidisciplinary lymphoedema
    management and treatment training course.
  • Establish a lymphoedema continuing professional
    development (LCPD) program for the National
    Lymphoedema Practitioners Register (NLPR). This
    will include a mentoring program

Goal 2
  • Develop disseminate lymphoedema education
    packages for health professionals in relation to
    primary lymphoedema
  • Develop a lymphoedema Train-the-Trainer

Graduate Certificate in Lymphoedema Management
  • Certificate will provide 50 points towards
    Masters Level
  • Possibility of having two distinct specialist
    certificates that after completion of both a
    graduate certificate is awarded.
  • The first specialist certificate equivalent to
    the level 1 course ( 25 points masters level)
  • Second specialist certificate equivalent to the
    level 2 course ( 25 points masters level)

Graduate Certificate in Lymphoedema Management 50
points at Masters Level
Specialist Certificate in Lymphoedema
Management 1 Equivalent to Level 1 Course 25
points at Masters Level
Specialist Certificate in Lymphoedema Management
2 Equivalent to Level 2 Course 25 points at
Masters Level

Graduate Certificate in Lymphoedema Management
  • University prerequisites
  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent
    qualification in medicine, nursing (div 1),
    occupational therapy or physiotherapy
  • Documented evidence of at least the equivalent of
    one years full-time relevant professional work
    experience in a medical, scientific or allied
    health environment.
  • Have current professional registration with the
    appropriate State or Territory Registration
    Board, or in states where there is no
    registration be part of an accreditation scheme.

Graduate Certificate in Lymphoedema Management
  • Credit points for previously completed level 1
    course after successfully completing an ALA
    examination for the level 1 course
  • Followed by successful completion of the second
    specialist certificate and be awarded a graduate
    certificate in lymphoedema management

Lymphoedema Diagnosis and Management in General
  • Joint project of Lymphoedema Association of Vic,
  • Developed information card including assessment
    flow chart for secondary primary lymphoedema (
    based on evidence review)
  • GP seminars including interactive case studies

Case study 2 - Ms DN
  • Presentation
  • 45 year-old female accountant
  • Developed oedema in left arm following a bus tour
    of Outback Australia two months ago
  • Left arm swelling extending from her hand to
    upper arm
  • Feeling of tightness and heaviness in the arm
  • Swelling reduces somewhat at night
  • What information will you seek from the patient?

Case study 2 Ms DN
  • Medical history
  • Diagnosed with left breast cancer in 2002
  • Lumpectomy and ALND
  • Later received chemotherapy followed by
    radiotherapy to the breast
  • Walks 5 km daily, gym work twice a week
  • What would you look for on physical examination?

Case study 2 - Ms DN
  • Physical examination
  • Moderate swelling of left hand and forearm
  • 3cm difference in circumference between left and
    right arms
  • Soft, pitting oedema
  • No skin infection
  • Skin moist and supple
  • Breast and axillary examination - no lumps
  • BMI 23 kg/m2
  • What differential diagnoses for the oedema would
    you consider at this stage?
  • How would you investigate the oedema?

Case study 2 - Ms DN
  • Test results
  • Mammogram normal
  • CT scans of chest and abdomen clear
  • No DVT on Duplex scan
  • How would you manage this patient?

Case study 2 - Ms DN
  • Referral to lymphoedema practitioner
  • Education on care of her arm, including skin
    care, and exercise program
  • Left arm circumference reduced by 1.5 cm
  • Daily exercises and occasional lymphatic massage
    for maintenance
  • What long-term management issues may arise for
    this patient?

Case study 2 - Ms DN
  • Follow-up opportunity
  • Patient comes into surgery 5 months later asking
    for antibiotics for a throat infection
  • On questioning about her lymphoedema
  • Says she is sick and tired of people asking her
    when her arm is going to get better
  • Tells you she has stopped going to the gym and is
    upset that shes putting on weight
  • She is concerned that returning to gym work will
    make the swelling worse
  • How would you respond to her concerns?

Case study 2 - Ms DN
  • Management intervention in GP
  • Liaison with lymphoedema practitioner re
    guidance on returning to gym work
  • Referral for psychosocial support (e.g. social
    worker at lymphoedema clinic or local
  • Patient put in contact with peer support group
    through Lymphoedema Association of Victoria

NBOCC Secondary Lymphoedema Initiative
  • Governance structure
  • Steering Committee
  • Evidence Review Working Group
  • Health Professionals Working Group
  • Consumer Working Group
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Working

  • Health professional resources
  • The management of secondary lymphoedema
    a guide for health professionals
  • The management of secondary lymphoedema workshop
    module for health professionals
  • Secondary lymphoedema workshop module for
    Indigenous health professionals
  • RHEF satellite broadcast
  • ACRRM on-line learning module

(No Transcript)
  • Consumer resources
  • Consumer leaflet and booklet about secondary
    lymphoedema (also available in Arabic, Chinese,
    Greek, Italian, Vietnamese)
  • Information pamphlet for Aboriginal and Torres
    Strait Islander consumers
  • Phone NBOCC 1800 624 973

NBOCC 2008 Lymphoedema Evidence Review
  • Incidence after breast cancer approx 20 (
    ALND) 6 17 (SNB)
  • One in five following breast cancer may develop
  • 4000 new cases per year across all cancers
  • Lack of evidence to support risk factors

NBOCC 2008 Lymphoedema Evidence Review
  • Lack of treatment may lead to progression
  • Conservative lymphoedema treatment is associated
    with volume reductions.
  • Further research required on the role of exercise
    and type of exercise
  • No evidence to support the use of specific
    pharmacological interventions

NBOCC 2008 Lymphoedema Evidence Review
  • Surgical intervention useful for only a small
    subset with secondary lymphoedema
  • Patient factors such as BMI, history of
    cellulitis, time between cancer treatment onset
    of lymphoedema, extent of surgery and duration of
    lymphoedema can lead to higher volumes and reduce
    the potential for effective treatment
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of lymphoedema may
    be an important factor in the success of
  • Patient compliance may affect the success of

ALA Conference March 2008Exercise Your
MindStretch Your Boundaries
  • Exercise in Lymphoedema or At Risk patients
  • A/Prof Katie Schmitz, Philadelphia
  • As women get stronger in a carefully controlled
    setting, activities of daily living that
    previously may have overstressed the
    musculoskeletal system, and thereby the lymphatic
    system, represent an increasingly lower
  • Trial with 288 breast cancer survivors

Assessment Interpretation Monitoring vs
intervention to alter the clinical outcome in
breastcancer related lymphoedema
  • Demonstrated the outcomes which can be achieved
    when a stepped and progressive approach to
    assessment and monitoring is used for early
    detection and intervention of breast cancer
    related lymphoedema
  • Dr Robyn Box

Using low frequency bioimpedance to assess
unilateral lymphoedema of the arm
Courtesy of Impedimed
The L-Dex(Lymphoedema index) scale
  • A simple way to view impedance data
  • Comparison to normal range.
  • The XCA uses the L-Dex (Lymphoedema Index) for
    assessment of unilateral lymphoedema of the arm.
    The normal range for an L-Dex value for patients
    without lymphoedema is between -10 to 10.
  • The normal range for L-Dex was established from
    bioimpedance data gathered from a cross
    population study of healthy women 1. The mean
    (average) L-Dex value of healthy women without
    lymphoedema is defined as 0.0 within this normal

Courtesy of Impedimed
Nancy the benefit of patient education
Case study supplied by Louise Koelmeyer with
patients permission
Courtesy of Impedimed
PC Early intervention
Case study supplied by Dr. Robyn Box with
patients permission
Courtesy of Impedimed
Small Trials
  • Hand held massage unit 26 subjects
  • Elevation arm lymphoedema
  • 14 subjects
  • LPG technique two trials, 24 women, 10 women
    (compression bandaging also applied)
  • Bodyflow 16 active, 13 placebo

Table 1. Mean change in parameters at the end of
trial in the active and placebo groups Parameter
Active Placebo Leg Fluid Vol (mls) ? 200mls
p lt 0.01 ? 50mls p lt 0.05 Total Leg Vol (mls) ?
302mls p lt 0.01 ? 274mls p lt 0.01 Truncal Fluid
(mls) ? 200mls p lt 0.01 ? 200mls p n.s.
The Role of the BCN in Lymphoedema Management
  • Lymphoedema education
  • Correct bra fitting
  • Diagnosis
  • Referral
  • Lymphoedema treatment