We offer appointments:

We'll confirm with you what type of appointment you have.

How to get an appointment

We can give you an appointment if you have symptoms of lymphoedema caused by cancer or cancer treatment and:

  • had all or part of your cancer treatment at Guy's and St Thomas', or
  • live in Lambeth, Southwark or Lewisham and are registered with a GP in these boroughs

Please ask your GP, hospital doctor or other health professional to refer you.

If your lymphoedema is caused by something else, you should be referred to the most relevant specialist service.

If you have a local service available, you will be referred to this.

Changing or cancelling your appointment

Phone: 020 7188 4242

Email: [email protected]

If you cannot come to your appointment, please let us know as soon as you can.

If you do not attend your appointment without telling us, you could be discharged from the clinic.

Before your appointment

Please bring:

  • a list of medicines you are taking
  • all relevant medical information, letters or therapy reports, this is particularly important for treatment at other hospitals or clinics
  • any compression garments you've been given by another service, even if you do not wear them or they don't fit
  • your health needs assessment form if your cancer clinic or nurse specialist has done one

Please wear loose fitting clothing and footwear that can easily be removed. Your examination may include looking at, assessing and measuring the areas of swelling.

During your appointment

Group teaching session

Before your first assessment we may invite you to a small group teaching session.

It is a friendly, informal session with 8 to 10 other people and lasts around 2 hours. It is the start of your wider self-management programme and covers:

  • information about your lymphatic system, the network of channels and glands in your body that help fight infection and remove excess fluid
  • how to manage and monitor your lymphoedema
  • information about other rehabilitation services at the Cancer Centre at Guy's

If you cannot attend a group teaching session, your lymphoedema nurse specialist or physiotherapist will provide the information you need.

We also offer a one-off:

  • upper limb and lower limb exercise education group session
  • upper limb, lower limb and midline self lymphatic drainage teaching group session

All group sessions can be either face-to-face or virtual. Sessions take place on Wednesdays:

First clinic appointment

Your first appointment will be with a lymphoedema specialist nurse or physiotherapist. It usually lasts between 60 and 90 minutes.

We'll ask for your full medical and social history and give you a physical examination. This will include:

  • assessment of your skin and underlying tissues
  • assessment of your function and movement
  • measurement of any swelling

We'll confirm if you have lymphoedema and work out a care plan together. This will include:

  • personalised advice
  • written information about how to manage your condition
  • referrals for further support, if you need it

We'll also assess if you're suitable for compression garments. This will depend on the severity and cause of your swelling. They may be provided on the day or ordered for delivery to you directly.

After your appointment

We'll send you and your GP and consultant a letter with the result of your assessment. Please tell us if you do not want a copy of this letter.

We usually book a follow-up appointment in 6 to 12 weeks. If we need to see you before that, we'll book it before you leave the hospital at your first appointment.

After that, appointments are usually every 3 to 6 months. It will depend on your individual needs. We'll monitor your care plan and make any changes to help you better control your lymphoedema.

We'll call you to confirm your next appointment and send a letter nearer the time with the date and time. 

If you have not got an appointment letter by the time you were expecting to be seen, please contact us.

You can usually get replacement compression garments on prescription from your GP. Please talk to your lymphoedema nurse specialist or physiotherapist about replacements if your compression garments are not on prescription.

We'll discharge you back to the care of your GP when:

  • your swelling is stable
  • you feel confident with self-management

If you have any problems or questions about the management of your lymphoedema, please contact us and ask to speak to a specialist.


The most common infection of lymphoedema is cellulitis. It can be serious if not treated quickly.

If you have any symptoms of cellulitis you should see your GP immediately. If your GP surgery is closed, you should attend your nearest emergency department (A&E).

Symptoms of cellulitis include:

  • new redness in the affected area
  • new or increased redness and swelling in the affected area
  • skin feels hot or warm to touch
  • the affected area is more tender or painful than normal
  • burning sensation in the tissues
  • raised temperature with flu-like symptoms

Contact us

For more information, please contact us.

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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