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Compression in Pediatric and Primary Lymphedema

October 10, 2019


A therapeutic program for lymphedema depends on the origin and state of the lymphedema, the needs of the patient and the ability to perform self-management. It also depends on reducing the patient-related risk factors, like obesity and little physical activity. Conservative treatments can be divided into two phases: The initial phase, where we try to reduce the fibrosis and edema, and the maintenance phase, where we try to keep the lymphedema stable. In both phases we need an adequate compression technology. Compression therapy for lymphedema is composed of bandaging, garments (like gloves, stockings and sleeves), and/or Velcro devices. We prefer flat knitted garments with a high stiffness. When bandaging, we advise you to use a short stretch of non-elastic bandages. Together with extra padding, you can use it on difficult parts of the body like the ankle or the hands. Together with exercise, you will reduce the edema and fibrosis. Sometimes you have to be creative in order to give an adequate compression on difficult parts of the body. These are examples of compression for the midline and feet. These are toecaps and bermudas over long stockings. Velcro devices are easy to use and readjustable. We can use them in the initial phase and also in the maintenance phase. It is advisable to customize, in order to have an adequate compression garment for lymphedema for almost every size.

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