Meet your team mates in Lymphedema Treatment
Helping you reduce and manage your lymphedema is our passion. Let us be your team mate.
As I'm sure you know, not all compression garments are equally effective for lymphedema among individuals. One person may respond well to one garment, and the other may swell right out of it. Heide's is determined to find the best solution for your specific case. We carry just about every brand known to the compression world and have 5 custom garment fitting specialists between our two locations. We work closely with physical therapists to craft the plan that will achieve the most effective, yet comfortable solution to your edema.
1. Reduction Phase - Wrapping
If you have significant edema, fibrotic tissue or skin changes, you will start here at the Complete Decongestive Therapy step.
Here you will visit a lymphedema therapist regularly for manual lymph drainage (MLD), some lessons in skin care, and wrapping.
We work with your therapist to provide you with two tools to help you reduce further: a set of short stretch velcro wraps, and after one month of treatment, a pneumatic compression device.
Wraps: We believe in short stretch velcro wraps as a tool for lymphedema for few reasons. First, it is an easy to use wrapping system that helps patients be more compliant with at home care than traditional spiral bandaging techniques. They also allow the therapist to spend more time hands-on with MLD, because they saves a significant amount of time from not having to unwrap and rewrap with spiral bandaging. The third reason, is that they are adjustable so you can tighten them every few hours for maximum daily reduction.
For earlier stages, or well managed edema:
For more advances stages:
These wraps are to be used daily and tightened regularly during the reduction phase. After one month of MLD and wrapping, we are ready to add in the pneumatic compression device.
Most patient will qualify under their insurance plans for a home use pneumatic compression device if their lymphedema persists after a month. This is a great tool for rapid reduction and management of lymphedema.
1. Reduction Phase - Pneumatic Compression Device
Pneumatic Compression Devices of "pumps" for short, are incredibly effective for reduction and maintenance of lymphedema. It's effects mimic the effects of manual lymph drainage. The easy to use sleeves slip on the limb(s) in need of treatment, and upon starting the session, the chambers inflate to a certain pressure decided upon by your provider. Each chamber has sensors inside to measure compression level being delivered, ensuring an accurate session regardless of limb girth. With use of Complete Decongestive Therapy including MLD, Compression Garments, Elevation, and Exercise, we can get a patient to maintenance relatively quickly.
2. Maintenance Phase - Custom Compression Garments
Keep using that compression pump daily, it will be beneficial for any additional reduction that can be achieved, for movement of lymph through the hard to maneuver channels, and lessen your chances of cellulitis.
Now it's time we measure you for a flat knit compression garment. Compression garments are NOT one style works for all.
Flat knit is the highest containing among each compression glass. This means, the material has far less give than circular knit materials. It is the gold standard in lymphedema compression wear.
Custom garments have hundreds of variables and options for compression level, material, borders, toe and foot modifications, compression level changes throughout the garment, and style variations. It is important you have a Lymphedema Master Fitter, such as our fitters at Heide's: LaBeigha, Kathy, Valerie, and Nicole. They will measure, adjust, and fit you with a garment solution for your specific wants and needs. This may be a multiple week process, so don't wait too long, let's get you measured once you are reduced! And remember, wraps reduce, flat knit contains.
3. Further Care - Treating Medically Complex Conditions
Those who have fibrotic tissue, edema that doesn't stay reduced at nighttime, and those with lobes may need additional tools in their lymphedema toolbox. For example, night time garments such as the Solaris Tribute or Jobst Relax may help in the channeling of lymph through the night. For those with fibrosis, cherry pit packs suck as a JoviPac may be a solution to massage and break up that tissue that is forming or has formed. We have a plethora of conditions, special circumstances, and problem areas that we find solutions for on the regular. We are custom fitting specialists and LOVE the challenge of medically complex cases.
We look forward to working with you to manage your condition and help you get to a more comfortable daily life.