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Understanding Lymphedema: Your Guide to Effective Management

putting on a compression stocking for lymphedema

At Columbine Medical Equipment, we're dedicated to providing comprehensive information and support for individuals managing lymphedema. Here's everything you need to know about this condition and the critical role of compression garments in effective management.


What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a chronic condition characterized by swelling, typically in the arms or legs, caused by a blockage or damage to the lymphatic system. This network of vessels and lymph nodes drains excess fluid from tissues and filters waste products from the body. When the lymphatic system is compromised, fluid accumulates in the affected area, leading to swelling and discomfort.

There are two primary types of lymphedema:

●      Primary Lymphedema: This form of lymphedema is caused by congenital abnormalities or developmental issues in the lymphatic system, leading to impaired drainage and fluid accumulation.

●      Secondary Lymphedema: Secondary lymphedema occurs when the lymphatic system is damaged, often due to surgery, radiation therapy, infection, trauma, or other medical conditions. Common causes include cancer treatment and blood clotting disorders.


Importance of Compression Garments

Compression garments are crucial in managing lymphedema by providing external pressure to the affected area, promoting lymphatic drainage, and reducing swelling. These specially designed garments exert controlled pressure on the tissues, helping to stimulate circulation, prevent fluid buildup, and improve overall lymphatic function.

Here are some key benefits of compression garments for lymphedema management:

●      Reduction or Maintenance of Swelling:  Compression garments help to reduce or maintain swelling by facilitating the movement of excess fluid from the affected tissues back into the lymphatic system for drainage. Over-the-counter elastic garments and custom flat knit garments, maintain the swelling after Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).   In-elastic compression garments reduce swelling when usage is supervised by a certified lymphedema therapist during the CDT phase.

●      Improvement of Lymphatic Flow: By applying consistent pressure to the affected area, compression garments encourage the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels, promoting efficient drainage and circulation.

●      Prevention of Fibrosis: Prolonged tissue swelling can lead to fibrosis and scar tissue formation, which further impairs lymphatic function. Compression garments help to minimize fibrosis by reducing swelling and promoting tissue health.

●      Support for Healing: Compression garments support the affected limb, reducing discomfort and promoting healing. They can also help to prevent complications such as skin breakdown and infection.

●      Enhancement of Mobility: Compression garments improve mobility and functionality by reducing swelling and discomfort, allowing individuals with lymphedema to engage in daily activities more comfortably.


Specialized Fittings at Columbine Medical EquipmentOur experienced team at Columbine Medical Equipment offers specialized fittings for compression garments at our Fort Collins location. We understand that finding the right fit is crucial for effective treatment, which is why we take the time to assess your needs and provide personalized recommendations.


“It is so important that our clients' compression garments fit correctly and are comfortable to wear. We go to great lengths to assure a proper fit and that the garments are as aesthetically pleasing as possible.” Columbine Medical Equipment’s Certified Custom Lymphedema fitter, DeAnne Redder, OTR/L.


Convenient Services

We strive to make accessing quality medical equipment as convenient as possible. With free in-store pick-up available at our Fort Collins and Windsor locations, you can easily obtain the compression garments you need to manage lymphedema effectively.


Call for Your Specialized Fitting

Ready to experience the benefits of compression garments for lymphedema management? Call Columbine Medical Equipment at 970-221-1453 to schedule your specialized fitting appointment today. Our dedicated team is committed to helping you achieve optimal health and well-being.


Comprehensive Care at Columbine Medical Equipment

At Columbine Medical Equipment, we understand the unique challenges individuals living with lymphedema face. Our experienced team is here to provide personalized support and guidance, from specialized fittings to educational resources. Don't let lymphedema hold you back – take control of your condition with our comprehensive services and compassionate care.


Additional Resources:

●       Columbine Medical Equipment: Learn more about our services and how we can assist you in managing lymphedema.

●       Medicare Coverage for Lymphedema Compression Treatment Items: Explore coverage options for compression garments and other lymphedema treatment items.

●       CDC Guide to Lymphedema: Gain insights into lymphedema symptoms, risk factors, and management strategies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Empower yourself with knowledge and effective tools for managing lymphedema. At Columbine Medical Equipment, we're here to support you every step of the way.

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