ARE compression garments a con?

After 4 years of secondary lympheodema in my right leg, I am beginning to wonder the worth of compression stockings. I have intensive 2 week MLD and wrapping twice a year. These are successful in reducing volume and softening my leg. Unfortunately, when I am back to wearing compression stockings, my leg is again hard and swollen after only 2 days. I also do MLD massage every night as well as wrap my leg every night. I have tried 5 types of compression stockings including made to measure heavy duty Elvarex Jobst. I see no difference in the $560 or $150 per pair stockings.

Are we being conned into thinking we have to wear sompression garments?

12 Replies

  • Hi, twice a year is very little to my knowledge. Once a week is ideal to keep things under control, once every other week and you are pushing it. And that is for the arm which does not have to fight gravity as much! Unfortunately, the fluid builds up immediately...Not sure if IPC pumps work but maybe worth the try?

    Best wishes,


  • Do you use rubber gloves to help you pull the stockings up?

  • I was told to wear rubber gloves, not the throw-away ones. You won't believe the difference it will make when you will put the garment on. Please give them a try.

  • Stockings come into their own when your affected limb is 20% or below. Above that, the garments are all about maintaining the situation as a compliment to other therapies. Not wearing a garment will always make the lymphoedema worse.

  • I use Solidea Silver Wave stockings, which have made a world of difference. After wearing them only a week, I could tell a difference in the size of my leg. The compression is not strong but for some reason they make a big difference.

  • Have you tried a compression machine? A machine plus garments can help reduce the volume of a limb quite a lot, in my opinion.

  • It is important to remeber that often bandaging achieves compression levels that reach between 70-90 mmHg, after compression garments with much less pressure are applied. As said in the previous comments, it may be useful to speak to your therapist about applying an extra layer of garments, only do this with the advice of your therapist. good luck

  • In my experience compression works. It's not a cure but if I wear my compression whenever I am out of bed my leg stays in reasonable shape. however I have primary lymphodema and which in my case means a general lack of lymph vessels in my leg. You have secondary lymphodema,

  • Sorry my iPad fouled up. You have secondary lymphodema, chances are you have more lymph vessels in your leg than me but have a blockage somewhere or local damage which the message is addressing. Have your leg been analysed to see what is causing the problem?

  • I have worn compression stockings for the past 2 + years because of secondary lymphoedema in both lower legs...I see my therapist every 6-8 months when she measures my limbs...I have gone from a size 14 to a size 8 in compression stocking I know the stockings are working for me...both legs are soft to the touch...Both legs have dramatically reduced in size...7cm off ankles...10cm off calves.. and 15cm off thighs.. I walk for at least 30 minutes daily ...most days it is closer to an hour...I also do 10 minutes on the treadmill..

  • What type of compression stockings do you wear? Also, are they thigh high or all the way to the waist?

  • Haddenham Pertex 2CCL2..knee-high. size 8....even though they are only knee-high my thighs are reducing in size as I quoted above..15 cm ...I was amazed when I read the reductions off my thighs...

    I don't have any trouble putting them on...I am fortunate not to have arthritis.. which I do know can cause problems if one has it in their fingers

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