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Compression Bandages For Lymphedema

Written by Amy Hall
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Getting Relief with Compression Bandages for Lymphedema

Compression bandages for lymphedema patients work by putting pressure on the tissues and stimulating the lymph vessels to keep the lymph flowing, instead of pooling in one area. When lymph becomes stagnant, it accumulates in a specific area of the body and causes swelling, pain, and sometimes infection. It is important that if you do choose to use compression bandages, that your therapist or doctor shows you exactly how to wrap the affected limb or area, so you get the most benefits.

Many lymphedema patients find that compression sleeves or stockings fit too tightly and are very uncomfortable. When this is the case, the patient's doctor or therapist may recommend compression bandages as a second option. Many patients who do wear compression garments use the compression bandages at night, and the sleeve or stockings during the day, so that they can rest more comfortably in the evening.

Taking Care of Your Bandages

If you use compression bandages for lymphedema, it is essential that you take proper care of them so that they last longer. It helps if you wash them daily, as this not only keeps them clean but it helps them retain their elasticity. It is also recommended that you buy more than a couple of bandages, so that you always have one handy while the other is being washed.

Another bit of advice from physicians who treat lymphedema patients is to wear your compression bandages over your other compression garments when flying. The reason for this is that cabin pressure can increase swelling in the affected areas, and the bandages can provide extra support and keep the swelling at bay. Always follow your therapists or doctors advice when treating lymphedema, as doing so will bring you the most comfort and ultimately a higher quality of life.

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