Compression Garments For Women With Lymphedema

For women with lymphedema, wearing compression garments like lymphedema arm sleeve helps in relieving the swelling. Lymphedema can happen as a result of blockage in the lymphatic system. It is most common among women who underwent cancer surgery that involves removal of the lymph nodes.

Wearing compression garments helps in easing the inflammation brought by lymphedema as it prevents fluid from building up in the limb. Aside from choosing the right size, it’s equally important to learn how to use the lymphedema arm sleeve properly.

6 Ways To Wear A Lymphedema Arm Sleeve

Here are six different ways to wear your lymphedema arm sleeve:

1. Using slippie or easy-slide
Slippies and easy-slides are sturdy tubes made of fabric with a loop attached to one end.

To use a slippie or easy-slide, simply slip the tube over your arm with the loop hanging off from your hand. Put the sleeve on top of the slippie or easy slide, pulling it until it reaches the upper part of your arm. Use the loop to pull the tube out from your compression arm sleeve. You can ask someone to pull it or you can hook it over the door knob.

2. Using an arm sleeve applicator/butler

An arm sleeve applicator is a sturdy plastic framework that also makes it easier to don the lymphedema arm sleeve.

To use the applicator, simply stretch the sleeve over it, making sure that it’s spread evenly. Slip the arm applicator/butler over your arm until it reaches the upper part. Using the other hand, pull the applicator out.  This device doesn’t involve sudden pulling so it is ideal for use by women who have fibromyalgia and other skin sensitivities.

3. Using donner and cone

Donner and cone are other assistive devices for wearing compression garments.

Begin by securing the cone on a table or any smooth surface. Once it’s secured, slip on the compression arm sleeve. Drop the donner on the base of the cone and grab the top band of the sleeve. Pull it up and out of the cone with the arm sleeve; don’t forget where the band for the wrist is. Slip the donner over your arm, working it up on the upper part.

4. Bracing your hand against a wall or tabletop

Begin by folding the sleeve in half. Put on the folded sleeve up to the elbow. Brace your hand against a wall or tabletop and pull the folded part of the sleeve and work it up until you reach the upper part of your arm.

5. Without using any aid

Start by folding the sleeve in half. Put the sleeve on your arm, pulling it up until it reaches halfway. Take the top part of the sleeve and further pull it on top, reaching the upper part of the arm.

6. Donning the sleeve without folding

You can also don the arm sleeve without folding it. To do this, simply grab the other end of the sleeve and gently pull it on your arms,pulling it until you reach the area just below the armpit.

Important Things To Remember

  • Wearing  rubber glove on the unaffected  hand before donning the compression garment makes the process a whole lot easier.
  • Your skin should be dry and free from any jewelry or accessory before donning the sleeve.
  • Make sure that the garment is distributed evenly. If there are creases or wrinkles, smoothen it using the gloved hand.
  • Moisturizing the skin at night helps in protecting skin integrity. Do this after taking off the garment.
  • You should have two garments with you so you can still wear one when washing the other. Having two garments instead of one helps in preserving the elasticity of the sleeve. If a garment becomes too loose, it won’t be that effective in controlling the swelling.

When To Wear The Lymphedema Arm Sleeve

Your lymphedema arm sleeve is worn to help keep the swelling down in your arm. Hence, for it to work effectively, it must be worn at all times except at night, when you’re sleeping. It is also recommended to wear your arm sleeve while flying on plane.

What To Watch Out For

Do not wear your lymphedema arm sleeve if it gets wet as it can irritate the skin. You must also regularly check your skin for presence of redness, irritation, or blisters. Stop using the garment when you notice any of these or when your fingers start to feel cold and fingernails start to turn blue. This indicates that your arm sleeve is too tight that it hampers good blood circulation. If you observe any of these symptoms, report them to your health care provider or therapist.

Bioflect Therapy Garments can help control the swelling and fluid buildup with its lymphedema compression garments. It also offers lymphedema arm sleeve for those with swelling in the arms. You can check out its list of compression garments here.

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