Question 10: Dear Jane
Jane Wigg RGN, MSc is a Lymphoedema Clinical Expert and Regularly Answers L-W-O Community Member Questions
This is a very individual question and depends on where you are with treatment -
My key comment is 'no one ever came to be maintained' and we should try to continue to reduce a Lymphoedema, but if you are happy with where you are - that’s all well and good.
Compression garments should be measured and fitted appropriately for your condition by a healthcare professional or someone suitably qualified.
They should be selected individually due to your condition including the size of your limb, your skin condition, and agreed realistic expectations from treatment, such as, do you want a reduction or are you happy with the size of your limb as it is and being maintained?
Compression is sometimes double or even triple layered to help with the reduction of Lymphoedema, or often combined with a wrap. If your toes or fingers are swollen, a glove will be added, and any swelling to the top of the thigh very often requires the use of tights.
Compression is fitted using a size chart and if you increase outside of these measurements, consideration of 'why', needs to be investigated.
If your swelling reduces the size chart measurements, the size of the garment will need to be reduced. If you stay 'maintained' the garments should be reissued without the need for re-evaluation.
If you are not happy with the size of your limb and are able to commit more treatment to what the lymphatics need, then intensive treatment including compression from bandaging or wraps maybe appropriate.
Garments need to be replaced once a year if you have 2 pairs. One individual garment lasts 6 months, so 2 last a year and are effective for a year.
I know, this is different to what you’ve been led to believe and you may need more, especially if working in a heavy job etc.
So how often should you be seen, is very individual but probably 6 weeks after your first appointment, then 3, 6 and 12 months - when all is maintained - annually or discharge is often the route.
I wish you well with successful treatment
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