Compression Garments For Lymphedema


A comprehensive overview of lymphedema covering subjects as symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
Compression Garments For Lymphedema

Compression garments for lymphedema


     The most well known compression garments for lymphedema are the ones made from ninety percent pure cotton and ten percent elastic material. The cotton and the elastic material need to blend in perfect proportions, because cotton is not known as a material used in garments that need to stretch. Even more to the point, the problem with cotton is that it does not have memory. Basically, anything that contains cotton in large amounts and that has been stretched will not regain its original shape and size. It is unfortunate, but it is fixable with the adding of the elastic material.


      Usually, these compression garments for lymphedema are made to tightly hug the affected limb, be it an arm or a leg. However, in this case, the success of the bandages is not given by their tightness, but by their thickness. After all, the goal is to slowly and naturally reduce the swelling and increase the lymphatic flow. After this has been achieved and the swelling goes down in a portion of the limb, the compression garments for lymphedema are moved to another portion, where the process starts all over again.


      Keep in mind that these garments are not to be used for anything else but the treatment of lymphedema. There have been registered cases of people whom have used these compression materials for other purposes, such as losing weight or eliminating toxins. This is a practice that is frowned upon by medical specialists, mostly because these bandages are already hard to find and very expensive. If someone uses them for loosing weight, which is an aesthetic problem, the lymphedema sufferers are left without their much needed support.


     An effective therapy method in treating lymphedema is the lymphedema compression garment. On a superficial look, there is nothing special to this piece of cloth. However, when you take a closer look, it becomes obvious that things could not get more complicated or more refined when it comes to bandages and their utilities. The first thing that you notice is that the lymphedema compression garment is comprised of eight to ten different layers.



      Each and every one of these layers is made of cotton, in general. But cotton is not known for its natural elasticity. Which means only one thing: the cloth has something else in its composition. It does, indeed. Modern lymphedema compression garments boast a very unique piece of equipment: elastic nanospheres. These tiny spheres are an amazing piece of technology, ensuring the elasticity of any material they are incorporated into. Basically, the spheres will attach themselves to the endings of the fibers of the material and they will connect the fibers together. Once the time comes, the spheres can stretch as much as it is needed. Also, they have memory. This means that they can go back to whatever shape and size they originally had, before they were stretched to fit the swollen limb.


     These garments and their special abilities are not manufactured by every single medical supplies factory in the world. Technically, there should be at least one of these factories in every country that has ever reported lymphedema patients. However, that is not true. The factories are spread throughout the world, concentrating in Western Europe and in South America.


      One of the most common lymphedema methods of treatment is the compression therapy. Basically, the affected limb is wrapped in some sort of material or bandage that will stimulate the muscles surrounding the lymphatic vessels and will help the flow of the lymphatic liquid. In the case of upper leg lymphedema problems, the lymphedema compression stockings are the perfect solution. Do not worry if you are not female, thus not prone to wearing stockings. The lymphedema compression stockings come in various shapes and sizes and only some of them look like actual stockings. Most of these compression garments simply look and feel like spandex pants.


      The stockings material is not exactly you common variety spandex, nor your common variety cotton. Basically, the material is a blend between the cotton, whom is not exactly known for its elasticity, and whatever elastic material that the producer uses. The proportion must be perfectly correct, since on it stands the ability of the fabric to have "memory". This "memory" allows the garment to move, inflate or deflate, with the affected limb, ensuring that the tightness and the pressure are just right for the swollen leg.


      Can something go wrong when wearing compression stockings? Well, yes, a lot of things can go wrong. For one, if the stockings are made of cheap material, they might not be reusable. Practically, these types of low - priced garments are made for emergencies situations and are not meant for constant wear. On another level, if the patient wears stockings that are too small, they feel too tight. That is never a good thing, since these compression garments do not work on how tight they are, but on how thick they can get.


      The most important thing that you need to know after you have been diagnosed with lymphedema is that the disease is incurable, but perfectly treatable. The compression therapy is the most common type of treatment that lympedema patients undergo. Now, if the illness is in its initial stages, the treatment course should contain only some compression garments, fitted specifically to the affected limb. However, if the patient has had lymphedema for a very long time, it might be best for them to acquire a lymphedema compression machine.


      What is a lymphedema compression machine and how does it work? Well, the answer is pretty simple: this machine is a small device, packed with the latest in compression technology. Basically, it helps create the necessary pressure for a patients' needs to be completely fulfilled. Usually, the lymphedema compression machine comes with some sort of pads that will be applied all over the affected limb, forming a sort of protective gear for the arm or leg in question. This protective gear will not shield the body from harm, but it will actually allow the machine to function properly: the material will wrap around the swollen leg, for example, filling with air and applying equal pressure to the limb. The patient can decide on their own how much pressure is enough for them. After all, the attending physician can show the sufferer how to use the machine and recommend a certain setting, but only the one actually experiencing the little piece of technology knows how much is enough.









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