Lymphedema, venous disease (poor circulation), and lipedema require a variety of approaches to reduce swelling. After the intensive phase of compression bandaging and MLD, we can begin fitting for appropriate compression garments. Some individuals may skip the intensive phase and go right to wearing compression garments depending on the severity of their condition. Compression allows you to continue to enjoy the activities you love to do with greater comfort. Therapeutic and correctly fitting compression that you will adhere to can improve overall quality of live while promoting better health. Truly everyone can benefit from compression to help with blood flow/circulation but it is medically necessary for those with Lymphatic conditions.
Compression bandages and garments are the number one maintenance tool after patient demonstrates a reduced limb size from Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).
Mechanisms of compression therapy in Lymphedema and other dx
increased interstitial pressure > reduced capillary filtration and production of lymph, limb volume decrease
shift of fluid into uncompressed areas
increased lymph reabsorption and stimulation of lymphatic contractions
breakdown on fibrotic and sclerotic tissue
improvement of venous pump in patients with venous and lymphatic dysfunction
Types of compression garments:
flat knit: coarser fabric required to produce sufficient fabric stiffness and thickness; more containment, better for later stages of lymphedema for proper control
circular knit: stretchier and generally more comfortable; less containment, good for early stages of lymphedema/venous diseases etc and may have more compliance with patient
Ready to wear garments are off the shelf garments that come in standard sizes
Custom made garments are for unusual limb shapes that do not fit into standard sizes
I currently carry Juzo and Mediven brands which both have excellent upper and lower extremity options for compression wear. For compression bandaging I use BSN medical and L&R. Solaris has a great night time brand option called the Tribute for comfort and compression while you are sleeping. If you find edema worsens throughout the night then you need a nighttime compression garment. Please ask if you have questions on what compression would work best for you!