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Empowering patient self-management through tailored compression garment regimens

02 August 2023
Volume 2023 · Issue 2


Over recent years, compression wraps, also known as adjustable compression wrapping devices (ACWDs), have become an increasingly important part of lymphoedema management. Widely used in lymphoedema clinics, they are also now a popular treatment choice within tissue viability, as well as in practice and community nursing, where their cost- and resource-saving advantages are greatly appreciated. Easywrap from Haddenham Healthcare is a popular choice among both health professionals and patients, due to its low profile, making it a comfortable option for wearing beneath normal clothes, and its uncomplicated design, making it easy for patients to put on and take off themselves. This article will evaluate the advantages of using Easywrap for self-management and explore why the Fusion liner, which is now available on drug tariff, can further improve self-care in lymphoedema management.

Lymphoedema, or chronic oedema, occurs when fluid accumulates in the body's tissue spaces due to a compromised lymphatic system (Sheer, 2017), and it is usually determined by swelling that has been present for longer than 3 months and no longer reduces with elevation (International Lymphoedema (ILF), 2006). It can be a side effect of cancer or treatment for cancer, or may be due to non-cancer causes, including injury, chronic venous disease, trauma and infection. Primary lymphoedema is a genetic malfunction that affects the development of the lymphatic system (Brown et al, 2019), and lipoedema, which is often confused with lymphoedema, is a genetic fat disorder. All these groups of patients are commonly referred to lymphoedema clinics, and for simplicity, this article will use the term lymphoedema to cover all of these conditions.

The management of lymphoedema is based around the four treatment components of skin care, exercise, lymphatic drainage (massage) and compression. Compression promotes drainage of lymph by increasing interstitial pressure and stimulating lymphatic contractions (Carati et al, 2009), whereby the oedema is removed from the tissues (Board and Anderson, 2018). Traditionally, patients move from an intensive treatment phase through to the maintenance, or self-management phase, where multi-layered lymphoedema bandaging (MLLB) is replaced by compression garments.

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