Compression bandages have the advantage of being adjustable. Their purpose is to reduce severe swelling before your limb can be measured for compression garments. They can be adjusted to changes in your limb size and shape as soon as the swelling decreases.
Compression bandages are normally used in the early stages of lymphedema treatment in the first phase of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).
CDT is considered the gold standard of lymphedema treatment. It consists of two phases.
The first phase is Decongestion. This step lasts 2-4 weeks, reducing swelling and restoring both limb shape and skin condition. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is applied, along with compression bandages, skin care and exercise.
The second phase is Maintenance. Once the swelling has been reduced in the first phase, it is important to keep the swelling down through compression garments and self-management. Then, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, skin care and exercise are continued for holistic treatment.
There are two types of bandaging systems that differ in the layers used for application.
is a compression system of several bandage layers. It is the standard approach for CDT. There are 4-5 components of MLLB:
are an alternative to MLLB. The two layers are:
Care for your skin: Keeping your skin properly hydrated and crack-free is essential in preventing infections, such as cellulitis. Avoid taking hot showers and sufficiently moisturize with an appropriate product that should be well-absorbed before applying your bandages or garments.
Care for your bandages: Bandages require regular washing, not only for hygienic reasons but also to maintain their functionality. Choose a gentle wash cycle with a mild detergent, and don’t use a fabric softener or brightener. Using a laundry net can protect your garments from damage.