Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that results in disfiguring swelling in one or more parts of the body. Chronic means, it can never be eliminated, although it can be maintained. It can be hereditary (i.e. Primary Lymphedema) or it can occur after a surgical procedure, infection, radiation, or other physical trauma ( i.e. Secondary Lymphedema).
Lymphedema is a disease that once one has, they have it for life, 24 hours a day. Long-term treatment can achieve good results in lymphedema maintenance. Complex physical decongestive therapy (CPD) is particularly successful. The aim is to first decongest the affected limbs – as the name suggests. After this, one moves into the maintenance phase, which essentially lasts through a patient’s lifetime.
Luckily, there are a multitude of solutions that allow for lymphedema therapy, from flat-knit to inelastic compression, and even products that specifically cater to Breast Cancer patients. But what happens during the night-time hours? As we have mentioned, lymphedema never sleeps. This condition affects the body 24 hours a day, and that of course includes periods of rest.
Normal elastic compression garments, while great for daytime wear, aren’t appropriate for sleep because they apply too much compression. This tight fit can cause harmful indentations and slippage on your affected limbs. Bandaging can also be an option, but it’s time-consuming and can leave you feeling frustrated if they are not applied properly.
So, what is there to do?
One of the most comfortable and time-efficient ways to manage your lymphedema at night is with a quality compression foam sleeve. A nighttime sleeve provides a gentler compression level in comparison to daytime garments. This allows for more comfortable relaxation and prevents the limbs from swelling and reaccumulating fluid throughout your sleep.
At medi, we have the circaid® profile nighttime foam sleeve, for arms or legs. The circaid profile foam sleeve provides a comfortable solution to nighttime lymphedema management.
With the profile, built-in technologies make application quick and easy from home, just slide the sleeve on, and go to sleep. Directional channels filled with engineered foam move lymph fluid and break up fibrotic build-up in the limbs, creating a massaging effect. The profile is made with first-use foam and brrr® cooling fabric, which is proven to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night. The circaid profile has a full assortment of colors and sizes in both ready-to-wear and custom-made options for upper and lower extremity solutions.
For some, having a completely different garment for nighttime use isn’t a cost-effective option. In those instances, the circaid® juxtafit can be a good fit for lymphedema maintenance day and night. The garment can be worn 24 hours a day with the juxtaposed bands being slightly loosened for night-time wear. The juxtafit offers a great value with enhanced durability for managing lymphedema independently.
In addition to compression garments (elastic & inelastic) and bandaging, there is also pneumatic compression that can supplement treatment by controlling the edema between treatment sessions. A lymphedema or pneumatic compression pump treats chronic edema (swelling) and venous disease with the use of forced air into a sleeve or garment. The compression sleeve or garment is segmented into chambers that can be programmed to provide specific amounts of compression or pressure against the body. They are operated for specific treatment times of 30-120 minutes a few times per day while the patient is resting.
Here at medi, we have two pneumatic compression devices, the medi pcs brio and genius, that were designed with the patient in mind to be easy, safe, and effective.
- Unit arrives pre-programmed ready for therapy
- Easy to apply garments
- Plug & Play
- Simple to clean
- Safety lock prevents mis-programming
- Available in FOUR languages
- Overlapping chambers provide graduated compression and reduce the potential for window edema
- Preset compression therapy programs*
- Tailor treatment and treatment times to patient needs
- Fill-to-Fit technology for consistently applied compression
- Focused therapy for problem areas*
*medi pcs genius only
While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are various treatment methods that help reduce swelling to maintain good quality of life. Since lymphedema affects those who have it 24 hours a day, it’s important to take your nighttime compression needs into consideration and even include the addition of pneumatic compression, which can be a great addition to your therapy.