ARE compression garments a con?: After 4 years of... - LSN


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ARE compression garments a con?

Health1919 profile image

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?

15 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,


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.

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

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

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.

MARILYNFJ profile image
MARILYNFJ in reply to Rebec


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,

Andy13 profile image
Andy13 in reply to Andy13

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..

Health1919 profile image
Health1919 in reply to

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

in reply to Health1919

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

CasLynn profile image
CasLynn in reply to

I found a doff and donner tower that is used with a doff and donner rubber ring. It makes putting on thigh highs or knee highs a breeze. I would be in tears at times trying to put on my knee highs. No more with the cone. I got them at

I only can add a few things from my experience. I'm 22 years with right full leg LE. My fitter always reminds me that compression stockings are for maintenance of size, not reduction. Secondly, Flat knit compression is the only thing that will hold my swelling. Circular knit stockings will not maintain my leg. I do lots of ankle pumping and calf pumping exercises during the day, I walk a lot and do self massage as well as MLD and I wear night garments. It's a full time job, but it helps. My leg responds better when I skip the cocktails and eat clean !

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