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Clinic at the Royal Children's Hospital

Lymphoedema is a rare condition in which affected people have swelling of one or more limbs or more rarely other areas. This can be quite disabling for children but can affect people of all ages. It is due to structural problems with the lymphatic system so that there is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the body's tissues. There is either too few lymphatics (vessels which carry the fluid) or the lymphatics don't work properly.

There are two types of lymphoedema. Primary lymphoedema occurs when the lymphatic system is underdeveloped. It is usually determined from birth, but may not appear until puberty or at a later age. Secondary lymphoedema occurs often after surgery or treatment for cancer (mostly in adults). With treatment most patients can lead a normal life, managing their condition. Without treatment the swelling gets progressively worse and complications can develop.

The following practitioners at CPMG have expertise in the assessment and management of lymphoedema in children and adolescents:

Julian is an experienced paediatrician who currently holds appointments as a general paediatrician in the department of General Medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital and as a research fellow in the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics.

His areas of interest include acute general paediatrics, learning and behavioural disorders and lymphoedema.

Julian also has experience in international child health, working as a WHO consultant in the People’s Republic of China and the Solomon Islands.

Jane is a lymphoedema physiotherapist who worked at Mercy Health Lymphoedema Services for more than 12 years, more recently as the Senior Clinician, seeing men, women and children with both primary and secondary lymphedema.

She contributes to both state and national lymphoedema professional associations, having been on the Australasian Lymphology Association’s Council as State Representative and Knowledge Development Portfolio Manager (2008- 2014).

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