Compression garments are specially designed articles of clothing that are used when disruptions in either the circulatory system or the lymphatic system cause swelling (known as edema) and other related problems. The pressure applied with compression garments gently squeezes this excess fluid up and out of the veins or lymphatic vessels, allowing for a better quality of life.
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TributeWrap is an off-the-shelf adjustable foam garment for lymphedema or edema management during the evening, night or low activity. TributeWrap comfortably adjusts to your patients’ unique shape and lifestyle to help maintain their gains made during therapy, while allowing the flexibility to support further reduction.
Full-length compression stockings are designed for individuals who are experiencing pain and swelling from their back down to their toes.
Thigh high stockings provide compression for those individuals experiencing swelling down the length of their thigh.
Knee high stockings, also known as compression socks, provide relief for those individuals experiencing pain and swelling in their calf and ankle.
A compression sleeve fits over your arm and helps to alleviate edema caused by poor lymphatic drainage. There are two types of compression sleeves available – a daytime sleeve and a nighttime sleeve. The major difference is that a daytime sleeve comes with pre-set compression levels.
If you are experiencing symptoms of swelling, numbness, or tingling in your hands following surgery, your doctor may prescribe a fingerless compression glove or gauntlet (a hand wrap without individual finger openings) to be worn with your sleeve.
If, during surgery, your surgeon needed to remove surrounding tissue of the chest wall in addition to breast tissue, you might experience poor drainage not only in the arm, but also in the chest wall and along the sides of the breast under the arm. When this occurs, you will need compression of the entire trunk area in the form of a compression bra or vest.
Our body uses a series of arteries and veins to transport blood throughout the body. Blood leaving the heart travels through our arteries. Blood is returned back to the heart to be reoxygenated through a system of veins. The veins contain valves that open to allow blood to flow to the heart and close to prevent blood from backing up once the fluids have passed through.
When a venous disease or other medical condition damages the valves or circulatory system, the flow of blood back up to the heart begins to break down. Instead of being returned to the heart to be reoxygenated, blood can begin to pool in the lower extremities, causing pain and swelling.
Similar to blood vessels, you also have lymphatic vessels and nodes that move fluid throughout the body. The lymphatic vessels run parallel to the blood vessels and move fluid (called lymphatic fluid or lymph) throughout the body. Meanwhile, the lymphatic nodes remove waste before the lymphatic fluid enters the bloodstream.
Lymphedema is a condition in which excess fluid collects in the surrounding tissues instead of being drained out throughout the body. Almost 42% of breast cancer patients develop lymphedema. This occurs because the flow of lymphatic fluids is interrupted by the removal of lymph nodes and surrounding tissue during surgery. If the remaining vessels are not able to adequately compensate for the removed vessels, fluid will accumulate and lymphedema will develop.
The pressure applied with compression garments gently squeezes excess fluid up and out of the veins or lymphatic vessels. Each garment uses gradient compression, in which stronger pressure is applied at the base of the limb, with the pressure gradually decreasing as you move up toward the heart.
The amount of pressure applied with compression therapy is measured in millimeters of Mercury, or mmHg. Furthermore, each compression level is written as a range. A range of 15-20 mmHg would mean that the base of the limb is receiving 20 mmHg of pressure, while the point closest to the heart is receiving 15 mmHg of pressure.
While some of the mildest pressurized garments can be purchased over the counter, you will need a prescription for compression garments stronger than 20 mmHg. In addition, Tricare will only cover the cost of those garments purchased with a prescription.