Upon completing a Lymphedema Therapy Program, the goal is to fit you for a compression garment so you can reduce the number of hours of being bandaged and so you can show off those “Betty Davis legs” or that slender arm you just worked so hard to reduce.
Bandaging is important during the reduction phase of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT). Short stretch bandages, NOT Ace bandages, which are long stretch bandages, are to be worn 23/24 hours to promote girth reduction and softening of any fibrotic, protein-rich tissue that may have developed. Short stretch bandages have a working pressure that helps to move the edema and protein molecules throughout the lymphatic system, to eventually be eliminated. Compression garments, on the other hand, have a resting pressure and their function is to contain or help maintain your new extremity size.
Donning garments is a challenge as they must be fitted snug to your new extremity size so there is no extra material available for increased swelling to occur. To ease the task of donning a garment, I would like to suggest the following basic tips:
- Fold the garment in half or so.
- Be sure not to “bunch” the garment as you would a regular stocking. This multiplies the compression of the garment and will be much more difficult to don.
- Work the garment in small increments up the extremity, not pulling a lot and stretching the material thin. This will damage the elastic in the garment and it will need to be replaced sooner than the recommended time the garment is warranted for.
Should you have increased difficulty donning your garment after applying these tips, there are several donning /doffing aids available for purchase on many websites. Good Luck!
Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZk8M6vh_48 for a video tutorial on donning compression stockings!
We treat patients for swelling and fit for all compression garments in the 34711 area!