On 14th March 2013 I will be having a Lymph Node Transplant.I have had Lymphoedema in my left leg since surgery 11 years ago for Cancer. At the time, 22 lymph nodes were removed from the groin area followed by pelvic radiation for a month. During the past 11 years I have had compression bandaging, laser, manual drainage and have worn compression stockings or tights. It is a daily battle to keep the lynphoedema under control. I have found water aerobics a great help as the water gives natural compression. However due to this I have had numerous episodes of cellulitis, so it is “catch 22”. What helps the swelling does not help the danger of infection.
Last year I started to hear about Lymph Node transplants being done overseas. I started to research this and by some miracle a new clinic had opened in Sydney at the Macquarie Uni Hospital – the Advance Lymphoedema Clinic. I had to attend for assessment as to whether I was a suitable candidate. Surgeons at Macquarie Uni Hospital are performing Lymph Node transplants and Liposuction on those not suitable for the transplant. I had a Lymphoscintogram performed to check the activity of other lymph nodes in my leg, as well as its condition to ensure it was not fibrous or very swollen and that I was in general good health. I will also need an MRI prior to surgery. Lymph nodes are to be taken from my neck and placed behind the knee.
I have decided to write this blog to bring awareness to a little understood health problem that causes both men and women great anguish. There is both primary and secondary Lymphoedema. In documenting this procedure I will be keeping a record of my progress and outcomes.
Please follow my journey and share with others to educate people on what it means to live with Lymphoedema.
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