Lymph edema, also known as dropsy, is swelling due to an accumulation of fluids that leak from the vascular system into the tissues. Lymph edema is often associated with another disease. It can start after a cancer operation, radiotherapy, tumor removal, and can develop due to heart failure, kidney failure or cirrhosis of the liver. In short, anything that disturbs the flow of the lymph fluid in the lymph nodes can increase the chance of lymph edema.
Compression garment is ideal
Medications such as cortisone or antidepressants can contribute to lymph edema. The doctor prescribes compression garments for lymphedema to treat lymph edema. A patient must wear the compression garment after having a surgery, to control the fluid leakage. In early stage, a patient can wear the garment but a doctor must prescribe it, as excess compression ratio will hinder the health. Since the treatment of edema is very individual, the garments are generally made to measure. Compression garments for edema are characterized by their comfort and durability – only the highest quality breathable materials are used.
It has desired effects on the area
Compression sleeves and garments are designed to do what the name suggests – apply pressure to the arm, hand, or torso, so that the lymph continues to flow in the right direction. (Remember that some lymphatic vessels are just below the surface of the skin.) In research studies, the efficacy of compression sleeves as the sole treatment for lymph edema has not yet been analyzed. However, specialists have found that they are effective as part of a general treatment plan. Examples include – a sleeve that is worn on the arm, a fingerless glove or mitten, and a chest support bra or full torso vest.
The quality of the garments is superb
All garments are made from flexible fabric. The sleeves are tighter at the bottom than at the top. It helps create the gradual pressure. In addition, there are varieties of fabrics available: some are softer, some are stiffer, and some may contain materials such as wool or latex.If you have mild lymph edema, then your initial treatment may consist of a compression sleeve or garment.
For stage II and III lymph edema, the treatment program called complex decongestant therapy is recommended first, to relieve swelling. After that, you would wear a compression sleeve or garment to maintain the results. Your lymph edema therapist will help you determine how often to use it (all day, part of the day, or only for more dangerous activities) and for how long. In addition, you may need to wear a different type of sleeve at night to give it more compression.
The following are other important tips
Obtain compression sleeves and garments from your lymph edema therapist or a durable medical equipment company that your therapist recommends and works with on a regular basis. Durable medical equipment” simply means medical equipment or supplies that you use at home. Have an experienced person adjust the sleeve or garment appropriately. An improper compression garment may worsen the situation. Neither too much nor too little compression is ideal, depending on the compression you need.
In some cases, the adjustment may be made by the lymph edema therapist. In others, it will be done by the adjuster for the medical supply company. This person will take measurements of your arm, hand, chest or other area to select the sleeve or other suitable garment, or to order a custom garment. Just be sure to ask the therapist or the person making the adjustment how many people they have previously worked with. Consider buying two sleeves or garments, so you can alternate while washing one. In general, they need to be replaced every 3-6 months, as they lose elasticity over time.