December 9, 2021
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Lymphedema Compression Measures You Need To Know About

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  • 5 Months ago
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Compressive measures are an important aspect of the lymphedema treatment of choice, complicated decongestive therapy, which combines the effects of these measures, manual lymphatic drainage, skincare, and vigorous exercise by the patient. They also play a significant role in the long-term management of lymphedema caused by breast cancer or female or male reproductive system cancer.

What is the usage of compression garments for lymphedema?

Compression measures relate to both bandages created after lymphatic drainage therapy, at the end of each session, and clothing such as sleeves or stockings that the person wears as continual maintenance of their lymphedema. You will utilize one or the other depending on the stage of treatment for your lymphedema. The multilayer bandage is most commonly used in the so-called attack phase when you can treat lymphedema for the first time and expect a maximum reduction. Its goal is to maintain the gain in reducing perimeter “containing” the edoema, prevent lymphatic reflux, and act as an inelastic buttress to the muscular pump of active exercise to reinforce the pumping of the edoema towards its drainage site.

It should be worn 24 hours, except while redoing the manual lymphatic drainage treatment or cleaning. When a person wears the bandage while exercising or going about their normal activities, it promotes lymphatic return. In any event, dressing is a personal choice that varies depending on the individual and the type of activity.

When the edema’s perimeter stabilizes, compression garments for lymphedema made of elastic fabric (sleeves, stockings) can be worn according to the affected person’s measurements. This is an article on day-to-day clothing. It is especially advised for usage during flight travel.

Scientific investigations have revealed that therapies that combine both measures, bandage, and garments, are more effective than those that merely contain elastic garments.

The bandage has multiple layers.

This bandage combines two types of tissue: the first layer of cotton bandage protects the skin from perspiration and laceration, and short-traction bandages help to limit the effect of edoema and pressure during muscle contraction. Above this, lay elastic bandages provide consistent compression while at rest, assisting absorption.

It is not recommended to apply the bandage without first performing lymphatic drainage since the bandage only acts on the liquid part of the lymphedema without acting on the proteins, implying a danger of protein accumulation in the tissue fibrosis.

Compression garments made of elastic

After completing the initial phase of treatment and the perimeter of the edoema has stabilized, the patient should wear this type of textile garment (sleeves, stockings…) to maintain the volume of the member, advising use throughout the day. If necessary, there are specific reduced pressure garments for usage at night. It can be worn with or without a glove, independently (preferred), or as part of the garment, and in the case of the lower limbs, stockings with hip extension or full panthy with finger protection. When it loses its qualities, it must be refreshed.

These clothing can be manufactured to order or pre-made regularly based on size. Depending on the degree of the edoema and whether it is in the upper or lower limb, the pressure applied by the garment on the limbs will range between 20 and 70 mmHg.

Patches can be used to treat fibrosis-affected areas.

Contraindications and precautions

Both the bandage and the garment must be checked for excess pressure at all times, looking for redness of the skin, especially in flexures like the elbow and wrist. You can also keep an eye on the coloration of your fingers to ensure that it does not reach cyanosis or a blue tone. You will be more vigilant if there is a sensitive deficiency. You will also consider skin integrity, allergies, and infections. Finally, wearing these garments with vascular insufficiency or acute heart failure would be a contraindication.

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