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Home > Custom Compression for Lymphedema
In the complex system of lymph production transport, concentration and filtration, disorders can develop which have serious consequences. Lymphedema is the most common of these disorders. Lymphedema is a chronic disease with tendency to progression. It can affect all parts of the body, but most often the limbs are affected. When lymphedema develops, protein rich-fluid accumulates in the tissue. The interstitial tissue will swell and harden over time. When this happens the limb will become heavy, achy, and painful to touch. If left untreated the more severe situations can become irreversible. Management of this condition is imperative.

Causes of Lymphedema:
• Damage to Lymph production

• Damage to Lymph transport
• Damage to Lymph Node

Lymphedema congenital condition such as hyperplasia or hypoplasia of the lymph capillaries or vessels. Secondary Lymphedema is often the result of cancer surgery but the lymph system can also be damaged or destroyed by other surgical procedures.

Treatments of Lymphedema:
Phase 1: This consists of intensively draining the affected limb with Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) performed by a professionally licensed therapist. During MLD the patient undergoes a special massage that drains the lymph fluid, usually performed at a clinic on an outpatient basis. During this treatment the patient uses special short stretch bandage with foam to contain the limb until down to a manageable state or back to the limbs original size.

Phase 2: This consists of maintaining and managing the results achieved in Phase 1. When the patient is ready to be released by the therapist, the patient transitions into a compression garments instead of bandages. The MLD process is taught to the patient, so self massage can be continued to manage the patients progress.

Another consideration depending on the patient’s doctor, therapist and physical condition can be the use of a lymphedema pump. (Please make sure your doctor is involved with all decisions on your treatment options)

• Limbs with impaired lymph flow are prone to bacterial infection so tend to any breakage in skin such as scratches, paper cuts, and burns. Use antibacterial ointment as soon as you see an opening in the skin.
• Do not spend excessive time in the sun
• Do not take excessively hot showers or spend time in a hot tub
• Do not allow medical staff to use the limb for IV or blood pressure
• Always tell medical professionals that you have lymphedema and which limb is affected (Bracelets are available)