Information on Lymphedema

Please take a moment to review The Compression Closet articles below to learn more about lymphedema.

 

Lymphedema Information

Lymphedema Resources

NEW AT THE COMPRESSION CLOSETNew at the compression closet

I have been working with lymphedema patients for over a dozen years now. One of the questions I run into all the time is where to find more information and support for lymphedema. Through my research and training, I have begun to gather together some of these resources for you.

Let’s start out the New Year with some new knowledge and resources! We have just added a new page to our website, Lymphedema Resources. At The Compression Closet, we want our website to be more than just a place to purchase good quality compression garments for lymphedema. We want this to be a place to go to for information, resources and the latest in research about the lymphedema condition. Continue reading

LYMPHEDEMA & THE HOLIDAYS: 20 SURVIVAL TIPS

surviving the holidays with lymphedemaLYMPHEDEMA & THE HOLIDAYS – STRESS?

The holiday season can be challenging for all of us, but when we are living with a chronic disease it can be even more difficult. Lymphedema presents its own challenges especially at this busy time of year. The Compression Closet has come up with a few tips and tricks to help you manage this holiday season with a little more ease and grace. Continue reading

STOCKINGS WERE HUNG BY THE CHIMNEY

Replacing your compression stockingsREPLACING YOUR COMPRESSION STOCKINGS?

Are you stockings hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon will be there? Are your stockings in good shape? Are they still compressing well and providing the containment you need or is it time to replace your compression stockings? If you are wearing your compression stockings every day, the compression will probably last four to six weeks. You should be able to tell when your stockings need replacing as they will start to get easier and easier to don and doff. Is it time to replace those compression stockings?

Good quality compression stockings are not cheap and yet they do need to be replaced on a regular basis.  Putting off purchasing new stockings can be much more expensive in the long run and cause more complications with your lymphedema. I wanted to offer a few suggestions that might be helpful. Continue reading

OUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

lymphatic systemWHAT IS A LYMPH SYSTEM?

The lymphatic system is an essential part of our immune system which helps to protect the body from disease and infections. It is a network of vessels, organs and tissues working together to move lymph fluid back into the bloodstream. The lymph system has several  key functions starting with maintaining fluid levels in our body by collecting excess fluid and returning them back to the bloodstream.  It absorbs fats from the digestive tract. It also protects the body against foreign invaders by producing white blood cells and other immune cells. Furthermore, it transports and removes waste products and abnormal cells from the lymph.

The lymphatic system is essential for healthy immune function  and defense against possible harmful pathogens. It plays a major role in removing waste and toxins from the body. With close to 700 lymph nodes spread throughout the body, it’s no wonder the lymph system has such a powerful effect on our health. Continue reading

“Drop The Skirt”

WHEN YOUR LYMPHEDEMA BECOMES YOUR SUPERPOWER!Drop The Skirt Amy Rivera

Any condition can be a burden, but it can be especially challenging when that disease is chronic.  Somewhere around 10 million people in the United States are dealing with the chronic disease of lymphedema. Many more may be afflicted, but have not been properly diagnosed because this disease is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed.

Lymphedema is a chronic disease caused by a problem with the lymphatic system. This often causes swelling of a limb and has many varying degrees of severity, from mild to disabling. I just read a fabulous book by a friend of mine who took her disabling condition and turned it into her new super power. She is such an inspiration to me and a hero to many. Would you like to hear more? Continue reading

Breast Cancer – Lymphedema

lymphedema and breast cancerLYMPHEDEMA AFTER BREAST CANCER

One of the most common types of cancer affecting women today is breast cancer. About one in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. During surgery to treat the cancer, lymph nodes are often removed, which can disrupt the flow of lymph and cause swelling. The lymph nodes may also be treated with radiation which can cause damage to the lymphatic system. This does not always occur after surgery or radiation, as sometimes it appears months or even years later. As a result, it’s common for breast cancer patients to develop lymphedema. It’s important to know of your risk factor for this condition, as well as ways that can reduce your risk. Continue reading

DR. FARROW AND HIS CLASSIC WRAP

Dr. Wade FarrowMEETING 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. Continue reading

What is Lymphedema?

lymph systemLYMPH-A-WHAT?

I had no idea what lymphedema was before I got involved with the fitting of compression garments.  I don’t think I had ever heard the word before. Unfortunately this is not uncommon in our society. When asked about my profession I often have to go into a long explanation of what lymphedema is and how it affects the body, because so few people are aware of it or understand how it affects people.

Countless times I have helped people with swollen limbs that have never heard of lymphedema or understood why their limb was so large.  Often misdiagnosed or their condition is dismissed as just extra weight. Awareness is key to deal with this chronic disease that seems to be becoming more prevalent in our society. Continue reading