Your body produces lymph fluid (a waste product from your cells) that accumulates in your body tissues, outside the bloodstream. Just like the waste collection outside your house, your body also has an excellent way of picking up waste! This is called the lymphatic system, an extremely fine network of lymph vessels (tubes) and lymph nodes that run throughout your body, alongside your veins. There are some clear differences to veins though; instead of carrying blood, lymphatic vessels carry clear watery lymph. In addition, lymph vessels are much smaller than veins, with very fine thin walls. The lymph fluid slowly flows around the body in these lymphatic vessels and eventually makes its way back to your heart, after removal of any harmful substances, like viruses and bacteria. The lymphatic system therefore has a role in waste disposal, as well as your body’s immune system and not surprisingly, is really important for your overall body health. Any problem with this lymphatic system can lead to severe infections in your body as well wound healing issues.
There are two main types of lymphoedema and Mr Ghattaura can offer you treatments for both. The first is primary lymphoedema, a condition where your lymphatic drainage system has not fully developed at birth. You may notice symptoms from birth, or these may develop at a later stage in your life, due minor injury, weight gain or pregnancy etc. With primary lymphoedema, since your underlying lymphatic drainage system is not normal, the results of lymphatic surgery, such as re-routing procedures may be less effective.
In secondary lymphoedema, your lymphatic system is essentially normal to start with, but has subsequently been damaged by surgery or infection. In many cases, you developed lymphoedema as a result of cancer treatment, such as removal of lymph nodes from your armpit. In these cases, lymphoedema microsurgery is more effective, as the underlying lymphatic system still works and rerouting procedures should drain the overloaded lymphatic system.
Mr Ghattaura works very closely with his lymphoedema therapy team to offer you treatments for all types of lymphoedema. It may be that surgery is not right for you and actually you need more intensive massage treatments, or different types of garments. In some cases, Mr Ghattaura may offer you one of the newer surgical treatments for lymphoedema, such as lymphoveous anastomosis (LVA), lymph node transfer (LNT) or liposuction. Whatever, the outcome, most patients find the ability to have a comprehensive assessment with a lymphedoema therapy team and Mr Ghattaura in a one-stop clinic extremely useful.