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Lymphedema is swelling in one or more extremities due to the impaired flow of the lymphatic system. The swelling can be mild or severe and can be a birth abnormality or the result of damage to the lymphatic system. Along with the swelling, there can be pain, numbness, tightness and also infection. In some instances, lymphedema can cause lymphangitis and skin infections. Lymphedema is of two types – primary and secondary. A range of products exists to control lymphedema effectively and safely. These products have been designed for the effective management of edema, lymphedema and venous insufficiency.

Types of Lymphedema

Primary Lymphedema

Primary lymphedema is from birth and can affect any part of the body. It is an inherited condition but rare. 

Secondary Lymphedema

Secondary lymphedema occurs at a later stage in life and is a result of certain factors that damage the lymphatic system. This leads to dysfunction of the lymphatic system and obstruction of lymph vessels and nodes. It can also occur when the lymph vessels or lymph nodes have been taken out or damaged during surgery. Secondary lymphedema is a common occurrence following breast cancer treatment including surgery, radiation or trauma. 

What are the Symptoms of Lymphedema?

Early signs of lymphedema symptoms before swelling sets in are:

  • Heaviness and tightness
  • Shooting pain
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty wearing jewelry, watches
  • Difficulty fitting into clothes or shoes
  • Swelling in the neck or head
  • Limited range of motion of limbs
  • Tingling sensation
  • Recurring skin infections
  • Asymmetrical appearance of the limbs
  • Reduced flexibility of joints
  • The swelling may be accompanied by fever and chills, burning pain, warmth, redness, itching and skin rash.

Treatment options for Lymphedema

  • While lymphedema does not have a cure as such, it can be controlled. Swelling can be brought down and discomfort reduced. Treatment options to control lymphedema include compression, exercise and surgery to remove excess fluid and tissue. Skincare is also vital to reduce risks of skin infections. Infections should be treated with appropriate drugs to prevent its spread to the bloodstream.
  • Lymphedema compression garments use gradient pressure to regulate the flow of lymph fluid from the extremities into the torso. These lymphedema garments are designed to help reduce the swelling.
  • Remedial exercises target the swollen limbs and encourage the flow of lymph fluid out of the limb. The doctor may advise light exercises that contract and stimulate muscles in the limbs. This will help encourage lymph fluid flow.
  • Lymph drainage can also be achieved through manual massage.

Compression Garments For Lymphedema

Compression is the most common treatment option. It involves the use of compression garments for lymphedema like socks, stockings, gloves, gauntlets and medical compression sleeves. These lymphedema supplies are designed to provide gradual compression from the end of the extremity towards the trunk but it must have the right fit to be effective. Used with lymphedema pump, these lymphedema products encourage the formation of lymphatic tissue fluid channels and reduce painful swelling.

Lymphedema Compression Sleeves

Compression sleeves for lymphedema provide a balanced yet gentle compression to the arm, massaging the skin and minor lymph vessels to activate lymph drainage. They are designed to prevent swelling of the hand, palm or wrist area.

Lymphedema Bandages

Compression bandages for lymphedema support the muscles and encourage the movement of fluid out of the swollen body part. They are wrapped tightly towards the end of the extremity and being less tight towards the trunk. This helps fluid flow upwards from the extremity towards the body center. These lymphedema bandages are designed with both comfort and support in mind.

Lymphedema Pads

Lymphedema pads have continuous flow channeling to direct lymph flow down to the inguinal collection area. There are fossa pads for the delicate popliteal fossa area, malleolus pad that fills the anatomical indentation around the malleolus, anterior pads for mastectomy and lumpectomy care and male/female genital pads for scrotal or labial swelling and/or fibrosis. Also available are palm pads which help maintain proper functional arches of the hand under bandage pressure. 

At Health Products For You, you will find lymphedema products from leading brands and manufacturers like Chattanooga, Jovipak, Lymphedivas, Julius Zorn, BSN and Patterson. Also available are multi-chamber lymphedema pumps, half and full-length garments for legs and arms and various accessories.

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