Head and Neck Oedema

Head and Neck Oedema
The head and neck area has an estimated 150-300 lymph nodes, about one third of the body's total number of lymph nodes, so it is not surprising that disease, surgery or radiation to this area will result in impairment of lymphatic function resulting in lymphoedema.

This may present as fluctuating or persistant swelling into the face, head or neck. Occasionally, depending on the cause, there can be the sensation of swelling inside the mouth or there may be some hearing disturbance.

Treatment Includes:
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage
  • Simple Lymphatic Drainage- a self massage technique
  • Skincare – keeping skin well moisturized to prevent breaks in skin and infections.
  • Lymphatic Exercises – to increase muscle pump activity (drainage of tissues) and reduce swelling
  • It is often difficult and unacceptable to provide compression from bandaging or garments to the face and head and compression should never be applied to the neck area. Lymphoedema to the head and neck may respond well to Medical Taping.

For assessment and a prescribed treatment talk to a Lymphoedema Therapist.

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