Lymphedema is a pathological condition in which excess lymph fluid retains in tissues causing swelling (Edema), caused by a damaged lymphatic system which under normal conditions returns interstitial fluid to the bloodstream.
The lymphatic system is known as the human body’s ‘sewerage system’. It contains a fluid called lymph. Lymph is thin clear to white fluid, which circulates all over the lymphatic system of our body to remove waste, bacteria and other harmful substances from tissues.
SYMPTOMS OF LYMPHEDEMA
- Swelling or puffiness
- Skin rash
- Fever and chills
- The difficulty with movement of the affected limb.
- Hardening or thickening of the skin (fibrosis)
- repeated skin infections
CAUSES OF LYMPHEDEMA
Lymphedema may affect as many as 140 to 250 million people throughout the world. Over 10 million Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide suffer from lymphedema and lymphatic diseases. In the United States, people suffer from lymphedema more than Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, and AIDS — combined.
Lymphedema can be caused when the lymphatic system is damaged due to any reasons like:
- Treatment for cancer can involve surgery to remove sections of the lymphatic system. (Breast cancer, skin cancer, cervical cancer or prostate cancer)
- Radiotherapy is used to destroy cancerous cells in the lymphatic system, sometimes in doing so; the lymphatic system is permanently damaged and cannot drain fluid out of tissues properly.
- Inflammatory conditions such as eczema or rheumatoid arthritis can cause tissue to swell they can permanently damage the lymphatic system.
- Infection like cellulitis or some parasite infections can increase the chance of having lymphedema.
- Trauma or injury
- Venous diseases such as Deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins or venous ulcers.
TREATMENT USING LYMPHEDEMA PRODUCTS
There is no cure for lymphedema. Treatments are designed to reduce the swelling and control discomfort and other symptoms. Compression treatments can help reduce swelling and prevent scarring and other complications.
MEDSHOOLA COMPRESSION PUMP
LYMPHEDEMA COMPRESSION PUMPS
They are used to treat lymphedema in a way that they will be responsible for compression to the affected area where fluid has accumulated. The Medshoola compression pump is a sequential compression device that can be used alone or paired with compression stockings for optimal results. The physician developed Medshoola Compression Pump uses sequential compression between four independent air compartments to increase blood and lymph flow in your legs and arms. It provides the vascular benefits of walking without any of the exertions. Unlike most other lymphedema products, it uses an all-in-one design that makes it portable, compact, and convenient. It’s easy to use and customizable.
Lymphedema pumps force air in compression sleeves. When the air is forced in the sleeve it put on compression to the inflamed limb. This compression helps the fluid to not to accumulate thereby regulating flow. These pumps also help in making the fibrotic tissues soft resulting in a better efficiency of drainage.
Lymphedema pump can be used for:
- Postoperative edema
- Post-traumatic edema
- Chronic edema
- Primary or secondary lymphedema
- Chronic swelling from venous insufficiency
Lymphedema pump should not be used in the following conditions:
- Compartment Syndrome
- Deep vein thrombosis(DVT)
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Local superficial infection
- Edema secondary to congestive heart failure
- Ischemic vascular disease
- Displaced fractures
- Acute pulmonary edema
There are three kinds of compression pumps available for the treatment of lymphedema.
- Single-chamber nonprogrammable pump: It consists of a single chamber that is inflated at one time to apply constant pressure.
- Multi-chamber nonprogrammable pumps: This pump has several pumps that can be 2 to 12 or more. The chamber inflated uninterrupted and have a fixed pressure in each compartment. They can either have the same pressure in each compartment or a pressure gradient, but the pressure in them cannot be adjusted manually.
- Single- or multi-chamber programmable pumps: They are similar to Multi-chamber nonprogrammable pumps, but the pressure in its chambers can be adjusted manually in the individual chamber and/or the length and frequency of the inflation cycles.
There is no cure for lymphedema but it can be managed successfully using compression stockings. For optimal results, use the Medshoola Compression Pump with compression stockings. Compression stockings are medical devices made up of elastic material which can help to improve the flow of blood and drainage of lymph fluid in feet. Compression levels range from mild support to medium support, to firm compression or extra firm compression. The doctor prescribes the right level of compression as per the patient’s specific needs. Compression levels are measured in millimeters of mercury; this technical detail provides specific information about the degree of pressure exerted by your particular compression products.
Compression stockings/ socks are designed for different compression styles and strengths
- Knee high
- Thigh high
- pantyhose/maternity garments
- Medical Grade 20 mmHg to 30 mmHg and 30 mmHg to 40 mmHg: Compression stockings of 20 mmHg or higher must be prescribed by a doctor. They are used for the treatment of numerous medical conditions and should be used under the supervision of a doctor. The recommendation for them needs to be renewed on an annual basis.
- Non-Medical Grade 8 mmHg to 15 mmHg and 15 mmHg to 20 mmHg: Compression grades of 20 mmHg or less are considered non-medical, and are used more for overall comfort and support for those without underlying conditions. They are ideal for tired, achy legs or for use during travel. A prescription is not required to purchase them.
Bandaging for lymphedema is called multi-layered lymphedema bandaging (MLLB).
Compression bandaging is a special type of bandage which provides support to help treat lymphedema. These bandages provide support for the veins which enable the valves to work more efficiently.
The aim is to help lymph fluid to drain and stop it from building up. It is recommended that the initial bandage should be changed after 48-72 hours. Thereafter the bandage will usually be left on for one week.
COMPRESSION VEST AND SHIRT
Compression shirt and vest options are perfect for helping lymphatic drainage after any lymphedema curing procedure at breast, chest or shoulder area.