MEETING DR. FARROW
I once had the privilege of meeting Dr. Wade Farrow, certified Wound Specialist Physician, and hearing him speak about his FarrowWrap. It was invented to help one of his patients, a seamstress who had chronic leg swelling. She could not wear compression stockings, and was prescribed a non-elastic wrap. She liked it when she first donned it, but soon found that the garment was too flimsy, didn’t conform completely to her limb because it had no stretch, and as the swelling reduced in her leg, it got loose and fell down.
The seamstress made one out of suede leather and was happier with this solution. When she followed up with Dr. Farrow, he realized that this one was perhaps better, because it was rigid, but that what was needed was a new type of garment made of short-stretch material. Traditional short-stretch bandages performed well, but were hard for patients to learn to apply. They also loosened quickly, and had too many layers. It wasn’t the best long term solution for many patients with chronic swelling.
DR. FARROW’S BACKGROUND
Dr. Farrow came from three generations of engineers, and he started his college career in biomedical engineering so he could help people improve their quality of life. Even when Dr. Farrow went to medical school at Emory, he dreamed of merging clinical practice with his engineering background.
Dr. Farrow worked hard to find the correct materials and performance, so that eventually after a few trials, the Jobst FarrowWrap Classic fabric was developed. It is a fabric that uses a traditional elastic band on the top, and the underlying material is a four way stretch fabric that limits the expansion. The Classic material could thus safely replace a figure eight short-stretch compression garment and provide 40mm range resting compression when applied at end-stretch, but could be applied safely without risk of the tourniquet effect, unlike traditional elastic bands.
A NEW TECHNOLOGY
The result was a garment that was applied near the end-stretch, so the leg could not swell. Because the garment had limited stretch, it prevented it from being applied too tight like a tourniquet, as the user could feel the garment was near end-stretch and to quit pulling. This gives the wrap its baseline compression. The limited stretch allows the garment to conform to the limb better, and there can be reduction in swelling without the wrap getting too loose. Additionally, for patients whose legs tended to swell during the day, the more the leg swelled, the more the short-stretch garment counteracted it. Additionally, short-stretch garments help augment the dermal lymphatics and the calf-muscle pump, improving venous and lymphatic return. The result was a new type of short-stretch technology to help patients who were not good candidates for compression stockings.
Lymphedema treatment centers around two phases. Decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) is the initial phase of treatment. This treatment aims at reducing the swelling and improving mobility of the limb. DLT consists of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), multi-layer bandaging, skin care and exercise.
The maintenance phase is the second phase of treatment. The patient handles this phase, with support from a qualified healthcare professional. Maintenance would include wearing compression garments, following a regime of self lymphatic massage, exercise and skin care.
The FarrowWrap Classic can work for either of these treatment phases or both. Your therapist or health care professional would best be able to determine it’s most effective use for your condition and your needs.
BANDAGING FOR LYMPHEDEMA
The bandaging system for lymphedema can be difficult for some, especially those with weak hands, lower back problems or obesity. The FarrowWrap is designed to accommodate such patients by providing an easy to apply, effective garment.
The FarrowWrap Classic system uses the principles of short-stretch bandaging, providing both low resting and high working pressure. Resting pressure is pressure exerted onto the body from the outside when the muscle is at rest. The pressure exerted onto the body from the inside as the muscle expands is called working pressure. These different pressures on the muscle create a massaging effect which helps move lymph fluid. Therefore this short-stretch system is very effective in the treatment and management of lymphedema.
THE FARROW DESIGN
The FarrowWrap Classic is designed with smart elastic short stretch bands and composed of a multi-layer fabric design; its fabric has been clinically proven over many years of use and on thousands of patients worldwide. The rigid nature of the material offers performance beyond the compression range, making it an excellent choice for those with moderate to severe edema. The widths of the band provide optimal overlap of bands from bottom to top. The Velcro system makes it easy to adjust and fit to the patient’s leg. This system also makes it easy for the patient to adjust the straps due to fluctuation in their edema.
Jobst FarrowWrap Classic is a highly effective compression garment which works well for moderate to severe edema control. The “Original FarrowWrap” is used and loved by people around the world.
Hand wash the FarrowWrap Classic garment using a mild soap and warm water. Lay flat to dry. Either hand wash the silver liner (included with both the leg and foot piece) or wash and dry on a gentle cycle in the washing machine.
Disclaimer – This blog is for general information purposes only. Furthermore, information contained in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice – always consult a licensed healthcare professional for advice on your specific condition.