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Genital Oedema

Genital Oedema
This can be the result of interruption to the lymphatic drainage of this area caused by tumor, surgical removal of lymph nodes, radiotherapy or infection. Congenital disorders causing inadequate lymphatics can sometimes lead to the development of this.

In men: It may affect the penis, or scrotum or both. It can present as swelling and pain. The skin due to the high levels of protein in the tissues may become prone to inflammation and infection and may become course and hardened. Difficulty in urination and sexual dysfunction can occur.

In women: Surgical procedures such as radical hysterectomy and post-operative radiotherapy for cancer of the cervix can increase the risk of genital and pelvic lymphoedema. It may present as swelling and pain in the pelvis and labia. Increased levels of protein in the tissues can result in infections and a thickening. There can be an impact on sexual function.

Management:
  • Genital lymphoedema can respond well to Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Simple Lymphatic Drainage massage that patients can learn to do themselves daily.
  • Good hygiene and skin care is very important.
  • Exercise is an important aspect of management to encourage drainage of the area, and a specialized exercise programme can be advised by your lymphoedema therapist.
  • Medical Taping can be effective in treating and controlling genital oedema.
  • Specialised bandaging may be used for management in men.
  • Use of compression garments such as specially designed underwear or a scrotal sling for men helps to provide support, reduce swelling and maintain improvements from treatment. Bike pants with a thick sanitary pad may be useful.

For assessment and a prescribed treatment talk to a Lymphoedema Therapist - please see the NZ Lymphoedema Therapist List and the DHB referral list on this site.
 
Useful Links
For compression garments for this condition:

Haddenham Health Australia

Therapist Support Laboratory Australia


Genital Compression garment men:
‘Harry’s Outback Jockstrap’
bsvensson@chcs.com.au  for information and pattern

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