Lymphoedema Service

About the Service

Lymphoedema Service during COVID-19

The lymphoedema service is still operating during the pandemic. We are currently offering the following service:

Personal protective equipment will be used for every patient contact, whether in clinic or at home, in line with Trust and Government Covid infection control guidelines.

You may be asked to travel to a different clinic than you have previously attended. Due to the pandemic, we are currently offering clinics at the following sites:


The service offers specialist advice, support and management for cancer and non- cancer related lymphoedema and for those with complex oedema at end of life. It is a nurse led service and operates in East and North Hertfordshire and West Essex. A similar service for west Hertfordshire is run by Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

Lymphoedema is a swelling that develops as a result of an impaired lymphatic system. It can affect any part of the body but is most commonly seen in an arm or a leg.

Although lymphoedema cannot be cured, it can be controlled and often improved. Early intervention and referral can help achieve better long-term outcomes.

The role of the Lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and lymph nodes that help drain lymph fluid and plays an important role in supporting your body’s immune system. Damage to the lymphatic’s can cause swelling and an increased risk of infection (cellulitis).

The lymphatic’s form part of your immune system, helping to deal with infection at a local level but just as importantly, they are responsible for cleansing your tissues and maintaining a balance of fluids in your body.

How does Lymphoedema occur?
If, for whatever reason, the lymphatic system is not working correctly, or the vessels are not draining adequately, the fluid in the tissues builds up. Swelling occurs when the amount of fluid in an area, is greater than the capacity of the lymphatic system to transport it away.

Lymphoedema can, therefore, be defined as 'an abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid in the tissues'.

Contact the service

Tel: 0300 123 7571

Referrals to the service can be accepted either by e-mail to or via ERS.

How the Service is provided

Who is eligible for this Service

What will happen at your appointment

Useful information

Making a referral

Patient Experience