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How do i get MLD on the NHS?

Hello, i've had lymphoedma in my right arm for thirteen years. I have been managing my condition wearing made to measure compression stockings. My husband has been to taught to apply the compression bandages once a week which really improves the size initially. I also have a private MLD therapist once a month to move the fluid using massage, one that is registered through LSN. This can be quite expensive as you can all imagine. My question is would this MLD be available on the NHS. My lympoedma is non cancer related by the way.

Would welcome any feedback

Thanks in advance

4 Replies

Hi trixabelle

This is a really difficult one as there is only research evidence to back up the use of MLD during complex decongestive therapy not as an on going treatment for the condition - we know that many people do find it extremely helpful but the fact that there is no evidence gives the NHS and the private health insurers

a get out I am afraid. The only individuals who are managing to access some MLD on the NHS seem to be those with mid line or head and neck oedema which is very hard to manage any other way. I am sure our colleagues in MLD uk will be able to advise on any other ways that you might be able to access care.


Thank you for your prompt reply this information has been very helpful. This will save me time chasing false hopes.


I get mine weekly through the NHS but this is because mine was caused by radiotherapy so as a cancer patient I get mine through the local hospice. However I do have friends who are not cancer patients and have had treatment in other clinics but they usually have to travel. Clinics are few and far between. For example living in Warwickshire my friends have had to travel to Staffordshire a round trip of 20 miles. Would it be possible for your GP to refer you to a clinic?


I receive my treatment on the NHS and I have primary lymphoedema in my left leg. You should go to your GP as some trusts are now funding treatment. I live in Essex and my MLD practioneer is so busy with referral work that she is having to get someone else in to help her as she cannot cope. It is worth going to your GP and asking.


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