Lipedema is a condition that, should it be allowed to progress, can become a very serious medical problem. Lipedema and lymphedema cannot be cured, so the focus for treatment is on procedures that can minimize the swelling, control the associated pain, and prevent the disease from getting out of control.
One of the main treatments in the arsenal of tools that can be used to treat these conditions is compression. In addition to other treatments, compression can be very effective in containing the symptoms of lipedema. Compression garments are generally prescribed to lipedema suffers following decongestive therapy to help maintain the reduction of swelling. Compression therapy will also help encourage the flow of the lymphatic fluids out of the affected limb.
Compression garments are to be worn 24 hours a day, every day. Because of this, it is important that patients are fitted correctly and use the best type of compression garment for their individual cases. An inaccurate fit or a poor-quality garment can cause additional pain and discomfort.
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Types of Compression Garments
There are several different types of compression garments, including Circular knit, flat knit, bandages and wrapping, velcro, and micro-massaging.
The most common garment is the off-the-shelf compression stocking. This is similar to women’s nylon. These are often called circular knit compression stockings because they have the same number of loops per row.
Flat knit compression stockings are generally custom-made and are made on flat-knit machines. These types of garments can be made in nearly unlimited shapes and sizes and provide a more perfect fit for those requiring a higher compression rating. They also deliver precise levels of compression, even for extreme body shapes.
Bandaging or wrapping is the application of several layers of padding that is then wrapped with elastic bandages. These should be applied by a physician or therapist each day.
Working with a Physician
All patients should be treated with conservative non-surgical therapies. However, many patients’ symptoms are not adequately controlled by conservative treatments such as compression and manual lymph drainage. For ladies with lipedema who have symptoms that are not adequately controlled with non-surgical treatment or those who have mobility issues, lymphatic sparing liposuction can benefit them greatly.
As we stated, compression garments are to be used in conjunction with other therapies such as manual lymph drainage as part of an overall lipedema treatment program. It is important that you consult and work with your physician. Compression garments are often considered a medical device and require a prescription. In addition, incorrect use of these garments can cause damage or serious medical issues. Dr. Wright and his team will be able to work with you in your treatment of lipedema through a careful and thoughtful course of treatment.
For more information on Lipedema please visit FatDisorders.org for some valuable information.