Lymphedema Compression

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

Lymphedema compression

     External support assures the gradual pressure which is not supposed to tighten your arm too much. You have to choose your item of lymphedema compression carefully and in accordance with your specialist. It can be compressive to wear light linen, especially in periods of intense physical activity.

     External support for a swollen member can be offered in two ways:

  • Compressive lingerie , like an elastic stocking
  • Layered bandages.

     External support is not always indicated in the treatment of neck and head swelling. There is a special kind of lingerie for facial swelling that can be worn at night. Most people who have lymphedema are treated by applying a linen adequate compression. It provides support for the muscles to pump the lymph and remove it in a more efficient way. The member size will not increase, rather it may be reduced. Several layers of bandage provide higher compression, and it could mean avoiding to wear many layers of linen.

     You must dress your sleeves and tights in the morning and in the evening you'll undress them. When you first wear this specific underwear can feel strange. Try to wear this type of underwear a few hours the first day and gradually increasing the time. In the third or fourth day you can wear them all day. It may be difficult to dress the lymphedema compression underwear at first, but your specialist can help in this regard, showing you the easiest way to implement it. You can try to wear ordinary rubber gloves to handle the laundry easier. If you still have difficulty, you can buy a special lymphedema compression applicator.

     Once you are wearing the underwear, it must support the affected member firmly and comfortably. If you notice color change in your finger or you have stinging sensations, numbness or pain, immediately remove the underwear. If you have problems with your underwear, talk with a lymphedema specialist.

     It is good to have two sets of gloves or two sets of tights, so you can wear one while the other is at dry. If you wear two layers of underwear for support, you should be given two sets. Try to wear each item as much as the rest. Linen should be washed every two or three days at 40 degrees or less and should be left to dry in the air. Don't use too strong a detergent, such as the ones recommended for washing wool and delicate cloths, the detergents could affect this type of lymphedema compression underwear. Instructions may vary from each manufacturer, so check them carefully before washing them.

     Sleeves for support in cases of lymphedema have different colors of brown depending on manufacturer and the style adopted. Most types of lingerie can be brown painted with a special dye for textiles used in cold water. The linen and the bandages should be replaced every 4-6 months because they no longer provide the compression required after that time. The compression bandages and underwear are not insured under the deductible conditions, being settled by the CAS. If you have questions about the elastic elements, you can consult a specialist in lymphedema compressions.

     You may need support for the scrotum, if the area is affected by edema. If the penis is swollen, you will be shown how to provide the necessary support bandage to minimize the swelling by your doctor. Swelling of the vulva can be treated by wearing special linens and a hygienic absorbent for higher compression. If your genital area is enlarged, you can wear underwear with other supportive role as for example shorts for cyclists. You will have to be taught how to massage your drain fluid from the affected area.

     Layer lymphedema compression bandage is used when:

  • The member has a very large size or has a modified form, which can not be adjusted by wearing conventional underwear
  • The skin is fragile and can be injured by wearing underwear.

     Several layers of bandages and pads will be applied to the affected limb to equalize the compression and to reshape the distorted portion. Additional layers will protect the skin. The lymphedema therapist will bind you. Sometimes you will be trained to do this alone.

     A treatment program by binding layer takes about three weeks.

     During this period you'll wear loose clothing to cover, without gathering, the bandages.

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