Lymphedema is swelling in one or more extremities due to impaired lymphatic system flow. 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 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 can effectively manage edema, lymphedema, and venous insufficiency.
Primary lymphedema is from birth and can affect any part of the body. It is an inherited condition but rare.
Secondary lymphedema occurs at a later stage in life and is a result of certain factors that damage the lymphatic system. This leads to lymphatic system dysfunction 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 common after breast cancer treatment, including surgery, radiation, or trauma.
Early signs of lymphedema symptoms before swelling sets in are:
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 products are designed to provide gradual compression from the end of the extremity towards the trunk, but they must have the right fit to be effective. Used with a lymphedema pump, these lymphedema products encourage the formation of lymphatic tissue fluid channels and reduce painful swelling.
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 hand, palm, or wrist swelling.
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 extremity's end and less tight towards the trunk. This helps fluid flow upwards from the extremity towards the body's center. These lymphedema bandages are designed with both comfort and support in mind.
Lymphedema pads have continuous channeling to direct lymph flow 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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There are two types of lymphedema disease. Primary lymphedema is present at the time of birth. While secondary lymphedema occurs due to damaged lymphatic system. There is no cure for lymphedema, but compression garments or therapy can reduce swelling and discomfort.
A lymphedema sleeve can be an initial treatment for lymphedema (stage 0 or 1). For lymphedema stage 2 or 3 a treatment called complete decongestive therapy (CDT) is used and lymphedema sleeves are then worn to retain the effects of therapy.
Lymphedema Pumps provide compression which forces air inside the sleeves with multiple chambers encouraging lymph fluid to continue moving and not to pool.
There is no defined treatment to cure lymphedema. However treatment can be undertaken to reduce the swelling and control the pain. The treatment includes: