Lymphoedema is a form of chronic swelling that can often go undiagnosed. It is a result of damage to the lymphatic system and affects both men and women. Data on this condition is not being collected. It is hard to know how many people in New Zealand have this chronic condition.

Lymphoedema Visible Symptoms - Lymphatic Fluid Buildup

There is no cure or medication for lymphoedema. It is a life-long condition.  To alleviate pain and stress, good management of the condition is required.

Lymphatic System

When your lymphatic system is working well, it behaves like an overflow. This overflow returns excess fluid to the blood system for removal from the body. 

The body uses protein as building blocks. When the lymphatic system is damaged, it can become overwhelmed and congested



Lipoedema is a life-long fat deposition disorder that affects up to 11% of women. Lipoedema is not well recognised, nor is it well understood. Some people with lipoedema are misdiagnosed as being overweight.

Effect of Lipoedema on Quality of Life

Lipoedema can negatively affect a woman's emotional and physical well being. The condition can be severe and disabling. Some sufferers can lose their independence and become isolated. Other health problems can develop alongside lipoedema. 

Lipoedema Visible Symptoms - Fat Deposition

Heat and hot weather may worsen symptoms.

Underlying Causes of Lipoedema

Lipoedema is congenital, which means that if someone has it, that person will have been predisposed to lipoedema from birth. There is a strong link between



Phlebolymphedema is the most common form of lymphedema in the western world. It can affect up to:

  • 7% of people over the age of 50, and
  • 20% of people over the age of 70. 

Vein & Lymph Failure

Phlebolymphoedema arises from the failure of the:

  • venous circulation system, and

    This is an interconnected system of veins and sinuses.
  • lymphatic circulation system.

    This is the system that circulates a clear fluid called 'lymph' back into your bloodstream. 

Effect on Quality of Life

Phlebolymphoedema can cause:

  • a loss of mobility and independence, and
  • an increased dependence on healthcare services. 

Visible Symptoms

Phlebolymphoedema Visible Symptoms - Chronic Venous Insufficiency and Lymphoedema...

Please note, this website does not provide medical advice. It is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health professional. 

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