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Measurements For Lymphedema

Written by Amy Hall
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Taking Measurements for Lymphedema Compression Garments

Measurements for lymphedema are taken to get the most accurate fit when you are instructed to wear compression garments, such as stockings, sleeves, or gloves. If you are ordering ready-made garments, it is imperative that you get the right fit in order for your patient to reap the most benefits from the garment. There are some basic circumferential measurements for lymphedema that are taken specifically when fitting a patient for compression garments and bandages.

When measuring for a ready-made sleeve, you will need three circumferential measurements unless the bicep is abnormally shaped. It is important that you do not pull the tape tight enough to make an indentation in the skin, as that will be too constrictive. You should measure the tape around the wrist at the smallest point, a slightly bent elbow at the smallest point, and to the armpit, at whatever point you want the sleeve to end. You will also need to take the inseam by pulling the tape from the least wrist to the axilla with the arm down at the side.

Getting the Best Fit

Some patients will not fit into ready-made garments, and will need you to fill out a made-to-measure order form for them to have garments custom made. It is so important that the measurements for lymphedema are taken as accurately as possible. If the garment is too tight, it will cause skin irritation and it will be uncomfortable for the patient to wear, which defeats the whole purpose. If the garment is too loose, it will not control the swelling adequately and the problem will get worse over time.

For leg garments, you will need to measure the inseam of the leg, with the person standing. Other measurements for lower body garments include the ball of the foot, the least ankle, the widest calf, the least knee, and the groin area. Taking these measurements accurately will ensure that your patient gets the best fitting garments that will properly manage lymphedema symptoms.


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