Lymphedema is a chronic condition characterised by the build-up of fluid in soft tissues of certain sections of the body as a result of a change in the lymphatic system, resulting in swelling. Lymphedema typically affects one arm or leg, but it can affect other regions of the body as well.
The lymphedema garments are intended for use as maintenance therapy, lowering edoema once established, and, in many circumstances, as a prophylactic treatment.
Lymphedema, whether acute or transient
Lymphedema can develop as soon as a cancer operation is performed. This condition is known as acute lymphedema or transient (short-term) lymphedema. It usually arises a few days, weeks, or months (up to a year) following surgery, is moderate in severity, and resolves on its own or with the use of light treatments.
Lymphedema that is chronic
This type of lymphedema develops slowly over time. It may appear a year or more after cancer treatment. The swelling might be minor to severe. Lymphatic fluid that accumulates on the skin and skin tissues can be exceedingly painful. It has the potential to restrict nutrients from reaching cells, to impede wound healing, and to initiate infections.
Lymphedema can be a long-term issue, but there are always ways to deal with it. The key is to be aware of what to look out for and to get medical attention as soon as you notice any of the signs and symptoms. Lymphedema is easier to cure and has a better chance of success if it is detected and treated early on.
Treatment for lymphedema
If you have lymphedema, there are therapies available to assist reduce swelling, keep it from worsening, and lower your risk of infection. Your doctor will prescribe the treatment, and you will need to consult with a lymphedema therapist for monitoring. After combined decongestion therapy, the only therapeutic option is progressive medical compression. It alone contributes to the member’s volume.
A lymphedema therapist can assist you with skin care, massage, customised bandaging, exercises, and the proper fitting of special compression garments for lymphedema. This is known as complicated decongestant therapy. Manual lymphatic drainage is a sort of massage that is used to manage lymphedema as part of a complicated decongestant therapy. There are various types of compression garments available for lymphedema treatment. During the measurement visit, you will select this garment with your orthotist.
Complex decongestant medication administered on a daily basis can dramatically reduce fluid volume (the process may take a few weeks). Compression garments are utilised when lymphedema has been controlled to the fullest extent possible.
Although most insurance companies cover lymphedema therapy, some exclude the cost of compression garments and bandages. Check with your health insurance provider to see what it covers as well.
What options does the patient have?
Avoid utilising the affected arm excessively
In front of a mirror, examine your body in great detail. Examine both sides of your body to see if the size, shape, or colour of your skin has changed. If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms, consult your doctor or a nurse.
Keep your skin clean and healthy. The risk of infection rises with lymphedema. To avoid dryness, keep your skin clean and dry, and use skin moisturisers on a regular basis. Protect your skin from the sun as well. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the intensity of ultraviolet (UV) radiation is highest.
Check that compression garments fit snugly (but not too tightly) and that you are wearing them correctly. Under no circumstances should you use compression garments that do not fit properly or that fit poorly. This could aggravate lymphedema.