What compression products are best for lymphedema?
Within the compression arena, there are two types of compression therapy: elastic and inelastic.
Elastic compression therapy includes circular and flat-knit compression stockings for venous, lymphatic and wound care applications. These products use elastic fibers that enable the stocking to provide compression and allow stretch for easy application.
The elastic nature of the garment provides a consistent or static compression to the limb. Thus, when a patient moves or ambulates, the compression fluctuates very little and maintains a fairly consistent level.
Key Benefits of Static Compression:
· Precise and accurate compression
· Maximum wearing comfort at rest and during activity to enhance compliance
· Fits every lifestyle need with color and pattern choices
How to choose elastic compression garments for lymphedema?
Compression garments for lymphedema should be prescribed by a physician with input from a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. The specific garment prescribed is dependent upon several factors including limb volume, skin condition, garment experience, the stage of lymphedema, and the phase of treatment.
Lymphedema Therapy Concept
What is the lymphedema treatment process?
The medi lymphedema therapy concept is a comprehensive approach in the treatment of lymphedema that provides the right products for each stage of treatment, from the decongestion phase, through the transition phase and finally with the maintenance phase.
Decongestion Phase Lymphedema: An introduction to treatment plan and limb reduction
The aim is to reduce the circumference of the affected limbs. So, in the first phase of complex physical decongestion therapy (CPD), manual, whole-body lymphatic drainage is performed once or twice a day to promote the return transport of the fluid away from the tissues. Compression is applied after each treatment session and supported by special exercises. When beginning treatment, skin conditions such as fissures or athlete's foot are treated intensively, because an inflammation can cause additional damage. Consistent skin hygiene and care are also important throughout the treatment process. Only pH-neutral cleansing products and creams may be used.
Compression products used during the decongestion phase include pneumatic compression devices or sequential compression pumps such as the medi® pcs , compression bandaging and the use of compression wraps, such as the circaid® reduction kit™ and the circaid juxtafit for lower and circaid juxtafit for upper extremity.
medi® pcs is an offering of pneumatic compression devices that can be used in the treatment of lymphedema and venous-related disorders. The medi pcs products have patient-friendly features like the self-learning, “fill-to-fit” technology and a multilingual touch screen display. Additionally, the pcs pump delivers clinical results with use of overlapping chambers and customizable settings to meet each patient’s therapeutic need.
The circaid reduction kit uses Velcro® wrap enclosures to deliver MEASURABLE compression with inelastic Breathe-O-Prene® material. The reduction kit is customizable to each patient and can be adjusted throughout the decongestion phase.
Transition Phase Lymphedema: The adjustment from clinic care to self-care
Once the affected limb volumes have plateaued, there is an important period when patients must transition from an in-clinic treatment program to a self-management program. Education is a key component to an independent life with lymphedema by implementing a manual lymphatic drainage program. Skin care, nutrition and the development of good compression habits are essential to the progression to independence.
The circaid juxtafit for lower extremity is an inelastic and adjustable compression wrap for the management of
lymphedema made with Breathe-O-Prene® material. With customizable options for
the entire leg and a patented Built-In-Pressure System™, this inelastic option
provides strong containment and prevents swelling in the decongestion phase.
The circaid juxtafit for upper extremity allows for quick and easy application and requires minimal adjustments to help maintain required gradient compression levels. The inelastic compression wrap for the arm comes in both ready-to-wear and custom sizes and includes the Built-In-Pressure System™ for accurate compression.
To learn more about our circaid products, which are commonly used in both the decongestion and transition phases because of the product’s ability to adjust to limb sizes or due to a patient’s inconsistent size, visit our circaid brand page.
Maintenance Phase Lymphedema: Long-term independent management of lymphedema
The aim of phase three is to maintain the successes and results gained throughout the clinical treatment process. During the maintenance phase, manual lymphatic drainage should be given at least once a week in winter and twice a week in summer. The additional treatment measures such as special skin care and exercises must not be neglected either.
At this phase, most patients will incorporate a mediven flat-knit compression garment or a circular knit garment into their collection of therapy products. Flat-knit products are perfect for ambulatory patients because the stronger material ensures constant working pressure over a large area, particularly when the patient moves about.
Round (or circular) knit compression stockings are knitted on cylinder machines and are seamless. The yarns used are pliable and knit to allow two-way stretch both in circumference and in length. Round-knit stockings mold to the shape of the limb and perform well during movement by staying in place. Round-knit products can be purchased in pre-made sizes (off-the shelf, ready-made) or customized to fit the individual.
Flat-knit compression stockings are elastic garments used typically in the maintenance phase of lymphedema. Flat-knit compression garments are usually custom-made and provide the most containment of all the elastic compression garments that can help support lobes and address problems that occur with skin folds. Flat-knit products can be measured to the exact millimeter to provide optimal fit and have the versatility to include special features for therapeutic support, added comfort and aesthetics.
Compression stockings are available by prescription from medi authorized dealers or medical retailers such as durable medical stores, specialty pharmacies, or orthotic and prosthetic centers with trained individuals who take measurements and provide billing options.
What types of mediven® flat-knit garments are available?
There are three flat-knit garment product lines within the mediven family to choose your perfect solution for lower extremity: mediven mondi 350 leg, mediven cosy 450 and mediven 550 leg; and two flat-knit mediven options for upper extremity: mediven mondi 350 arm and mediven 550 arm.
For early to mid-stage lower leg lymphedema, mediven mondi 350 provides a soft and comfortable fabric choice for those with sensitive skin structures who require a gentler option. Our newest flat-knit fabric choice, the mediven cosy 450 is a lower leg solution with flexible, supple fabric and elasticity, providing excellent containment for those patients with higher mobility. Lastly, our most robust garment, mediven 550 for leg, provides high-working pressure to achieve best therapeutic results for patients with skin folds or lobules that require additional support.
For patients with upper limb lymphedema in stages 1 and 2, mediven mondi 350 arm delivers fashion and effective edema control through customized fit and a variety of choices, ultimately enhancing compliance. The mediven 550 arm provides another custom option for all forms of edema with plenty of design and color additions to satisfy any patient, while providing maximum containment.
What are inelastic compression wraps?
Also referred to as Velcro® compression wraps, this category is comprised of our circaid® product line for venous, lymphedema and wound care applications. These products use inelastic materials that have limited stretch when the circumference of the limb changes with movement of the body. The resistance of the garment will make compression levels rise and fall, thus creating a DYNAMIC compression system.
Key Benefits of Dynamic Compression:
· Ability to adjust compression levels of day and night use
· Ease of application
· Maximum edema containment
· Improved venous hemodynamics