Lower Limb Chapter 8: Compression Garments

Lower Limb Chapter 8: Compression Garments


♩ Music plays ♩ Bandaging uses layers of padding then application of low stretch bandages to create a graduated compression. Other materials may be able to approximate the effect of bandaging, for example layering Tubigrip. Compression garments are firmly fitting elastic garments and need to be prescribed by a trained lymphoedema therapist. They can take a while to put on but they can be very beneficial. The external compression from the garment helps to encourage the fluid to move out of your limb, against gravity and also provides a physical barrier to stop extra fluid accumulating in your limb. Compression sleeves may be of benefit for flying and long distance car travel. Times when altitude or being sedentary tends to decrease the pumping of your lymphatic system. They’re also very helpful during or after more demanding sorts of activities such as gardening. Well I think you recognise flare-ups and you get pain in certain parts of the limb. You get in, you’ve got to treat it. And treat it there and then. And get yourself back and moving again. And as soon as you do that, you’re on the road. It’s only a matter of time but you’ve got to put that effort in. It might be an hour. An hour and a bit and you’re on the go again. JULIA: There are times when even despite your best efforts things outside of your control can mean that you have a flare-up of the condition. It’s really important if you notice an increase to your symptoms of swelling. Things like pins and needles or numbness getting worse. Particularly if you notice any redness or heat associated with your swelling that you are going and seeking some input from a medical practitioner. There are cases where it’s really important that you do that immediately that you notice any signs on redness, heat or swelling. It can indicate you’re having a problem like something like a cellulitis, an infection or something like a deep vein thrombosis. Things like that. Lymphoedema is usually something that increases quite gradually. So if you’re noticing a very sharp increase we’d really recommend that you go and see a doctor about what’s happening for you. PETER: You’ve got to live what life you’ve got, that’s the first thing. That’s one of the principles that I go by. But when you’re first operated on extensively you suddenly say “Well, where to from now?” so you actually have to live everyday and try to get back to where you were. And I’m back playing golf, I play golf about twice a week. I can’t walk too far but I use a cart. And that seems to work for me and so I get a lot of physical exercise as well as being able to relate to the same people I related to prior to being extensively operated on. Everyday I treat my leg. Occasionally I can go and miss a day these days. But initially you have to work on it to get what I call the – you lose the main highway of your lymphatic system but to get your byways to work and push the fluid out, you get those to work. And I can now miss a day and still be comfortable and I don’t get a flare-up from missing a day. If I miss two days, well then yes you can feel it. But you spend, in my case I might spend three quarters of an hour at night working on my leg and massaging it and I’m able to keep it under control. But it’s the discipline. ♩ Music plays ♩

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