Nowadays, the interest in lymphology in Greece can be considered as big. About 10 years ago, the level of lymphology was low: few physicians and physiotherapists were occupied with diagnosis and especially the treatment of lymphedema without being under the guidelines of International Society of Lymphology. As a result, there were many different opinions for the same problem. Only the last 8-10 years and especially after the foundation of the Greek Society of lymphology many things have changed but still, there is a lot of things that has to be done.
The main aims of our society are to promote and improve the management of the lymphatic diseases, to organize educational courses, congresses or special programs in order to increase the knowledge and understanding of lymphedema and other lymphatic diseases as well as to promote events and actions concerning the lymphology and the lymphedema patient in Greece. Also, the role of the society is to recognize and confirm the multidisciplinary character of lymphology, the wide range of its interests and to provide a unique forum of all critical issues concerning the management and care of patients with lymphatic diseases.
We try and fight to establish a good level of knowledge in lymphology in Greece always according the international guidelines. The study and management of the lymphatic diseases means the cooperation of many medical expertises as physicians specialized in infective diseases, radiologists, gynecologists, surgeons, vascular surgeons, plastic surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, instructor of gymnastics, instructor of diet and etc .
At the moment, lymphology in our country is still developing. More and more physicians obtain the knowledge about the lymphatic diseases, more and more physiotherapists get the appropriate training and education to apply lymph drainage massage. Furthermore, nurses and other experts concerning the lymphatic diseases are ready to give the correct information to the patient.
Especially in our days the patient knows about its disease and the existing options but mainly knows ways to prevent or to avoid the aggravation of the disease. Many centers (in private or public sector) have developed all over Greece: Athens, Thessaloniki, Crete, Larissa and Kalamata. Especially in Athens, there are a lot of good centers because of the increasing interest in lymphology. In additional, new books concerning lymphology are published, new groups – clubs of patients or medical experts are founded and finally industries are interesting more in lymphology , new materials and technologies are coming in Greece.
According the above, positive steps concerning the development of lymphology have been taken in Greece. But it is a fact that we have to try harder in order to reach the level of lymphology existing in many countries in Europe, Argentine, North America and Australia. First of all, we have to respect and follow the guidelines of ISL and ESL. We need more training education as far as concern the lymphatic disease (from the University status to congress status), the diagnosis and the treatment of the lymphatic diseases.
Finally, we need centers to do research and investigation on the lymphatic system. Patient must have full program of treatment at the public or private medical centers covered by private insurances and national health system.
The beginning of lymphology in Greece is a reality. However, we need always to communicate with each other for scientific exchange in order to create a new global multidisciplinary attitude including all experts dealing with lymphology by putting aside personal believes or ambitions which are against the philosophy and ideas of ISL, ESL and Greek Society of Lymphology.
Evangelos P.Dimakakos MD,PhD, ED/VM, MLD/CDT (P)