Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Compression Garments and/or Bandages
- Compression Garments and/or Bandages
- Lymphedema Treatments
- Other Conditions
- Specialists Knowledgeable in Diagnosis
- What is Lymphedema
- General Questions
1 - When wearing the bandages and compression sleeve, I have pain in the web space of my thumb and in the inner elbow area. What can I do?
Irritation is often caused by friction from the bandage or garment.
A band aid, moleskin or foam padding can be applied in the thumb web space to protect it from friction and extra padding or a silky lining in the inner elbow will help to reduce friction.
Custom sleeves and gloves are measured for your dimensions and fit better than off the shelf garments.
Sleeves manufactured from cotton covered yarn or fabric for sensitive skin may be an option. Talk to your fitter about this.
2 - I have symptoms of increased swelling in my arm in spite of wearing my compression sleeve. What should I do?
Before seeking treatment, talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing as there are other medical conditions that can cause swelling. Your doctor should be able to determine if this is due to lymphedema. If this is diagnosed as lymphedema, return to your therapist for re-evaluation and management.
3 - Where can I purchase bandages and other wrapping supplies?
The Canadian Bandage Shoppe in Regina Saskachewan sells wrapping supplies online. You could also ask your local medical supply store or pharmacy to bring in supplies if they don't stock any. Ask your therapist for a list of required bandages and supplies.
Please note that if you get a doctor's prescription for the bandages and send that with your order, you will not be charged GST.
Lymphedema Depot in Ontario also carries compression bandages as does BSN Medical out of Quebec. Fitters should be able to order the bandaging supplies from BSN for you and you can see our Suppliers listings for contact information for Lymphedema Depot.
4 - Where can I be fitted with a compression garment?
Check with your local medical supply store or orthopedic pharmacy and ask if they have a certified compression garment fitter specifically for lymphedema management.
5 - What level of compression is needed?
Levels of compression must be prescribed by a physician and this depends on the severity of the lymphedema. Check with them to see what best suits your needs.
Where can I receive treatment for lymphedema?
Member therapists are listed on our website.
Alternatively, you can refer to the Dr. Vodder website for a listing of therapists in your area: www.vodderschool.com.
You can also contact the Massage Therapist's Association of BC (Toll free: 1-888-413-4467 or 604-873-4467) or the Physiotherapy Association of BC (604-736-5130) and ask specifically for names of therapists who provide lymphedema treatment.
1 - I have been told I have lipedema. Where can I get a diagnosis?
There is no diagnostic test for lipedema. The physician looks for clinical signs.
Lipedema usually involves bilateral symmetrical leg enlargement, with symptoms of aching and easy bruising. The enlargement is diet-resistant and occurs almost universally in females. It involves edema that resolves with rest. Treatment options include gentle compression. See your doctor to rule out other causes first.
2 - I would like to have some warts removed from my lymphedematous limb. How safe is this?
Any procedure that can potentially cause inflammation in tissues may cause lymphedema to manifest if not already present, or exacerbate an already existing lymphedema. Each person has to weigh the pros and cons for their situation and determine if it is for cosmetic reasons or if it is medically necessary.
Specialists Knowledgeable in Diagnosis
You can get a referral to see a physiatrist, vascular specialists or dermatologists. Also, there is the vascular anomaly clinic at Children's Hospital for younger people.
What is Lymphedema
Refer to information on website.
I have a compression pump to sell. Where can I list it?
We have a "Garage Sale" section in the newsletter with the caveat that we are not responsible for items that are bought/sold via this means and it is 'buyer beware!'
Alternatively, you can ask the BC Cancer Agency or your local hospital's physiotherapy department.