What's happened to Duomed compression hosiery?

20 years ago I was assessed by Claud Regnard in Newcastle as I had very severe full leg lymphoedema. He prescribed a compression class 3 (CC3) length stocking and a CC3 calf length stocking to be worn on top to provide maximum compression. This combination has served me well over the years. However, it appears Duomed have, without any warning, changed their product into something called 'Duomed soft' which is a sheer more silky type of garment very well suited to women. Not only does it seem unsuitable for the male user but more importantly, it is impossible to wear one on top of the other due to sliding and therefore I am unable to achieve the right level of compression. This has left me in a difficult situation as I need to identify a replacement garment quickly. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be anywhere I know of in Scotland where one can be measured and view different garments prior to requesting a new prescription or buying. Due to the severity of my condition I would be prepared to travel in the UK if anybody knows of a such a service/ facility.

19 Replies

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  • Hi Haen, I have lymphodiema in my lower right leg. I have used a knee length stocking for 20 odd years. That contained the problem but about 8 years ago I got a Circaid. The Circaid runs from just below the knee to just above my ankle. Looking back at the measurements the hospital took it produced the greatest reduction in my leg volume of all the compression garment I have used, with the possible exception of the stocking itself. On the downside it can end up increasing swelling above and below my calf so I use and ankle support (as well as the stocking and now toe caps). Bottom line, with that lot on my leg is stable and measurements morning and night have shown no increase during the day.

    Andy

  • Dear Andy

    Thanks for replying to my query. I have subsequently looked into the Circaid product you mentioned but do not think that it would be appropriate for my particular circumstances. However, I will seek further advice from my nearest clinic as they should be able to advise. Thanks again for your input.

    Haen.

  • Cant help you I am afraid. But being a woman I too do NOT like the new duomed soft. They may be "glamourous" but are a pain and are not of the same quality nor achieve the desired effect as their "old" Duomed stockings. They also ladder very quickly. I am at present wearing old Duomed knee length socks that have so many ladders in you would not believe and wear the new Duo soft over the top. This is not ideal. I beleive I can get Activa stocking/socks on the NHS. I have yet to start trying these out. I live in hope they will be just as good. But in my own experience my left leg is now so swollen think I need professional help from a lymph. nurse and it needs bandaging. I wish you every good luck Haen in finding a suitable replacement. If you do please can you pass on the good news.

    Harpy

  • It is interesting to hear that the new Duomed product is not meeting the needs of women affected by lymphoedema as it seemed to me that it had been designed to make the garment more appealing to women. However, if the product is not functional then it would seem to be a waste of NHS resources to prescribe this. In addition to the product you mention, a lymphoedema therapist suggested that a product by Elvarex might be suitable. She also said that another product called Sigvaris was good but was uncertain whether this was available on prescription. She also provided the name of a website where products were available for private purchase (www.daylong.co.uk). I intend to find out more about the various options suggested but hope this information is useful meantime. I cannot answer your query regarding left-sidedness but I understand that primary lymphoedema can affect either or both sides of the body and I assumed that acquired or iatrogenic lymphoedema depended on the side of the body to which surgery or Radiotherapy had taken place.

    Regards

    Haen

  • Thank-you for the additional information. I have not come across the Jobst product previously and was also unaware that a compression class 4 existed. Whilst I may not require this level of compression at the moment, it is useful to know about this should my current level of compression prove insufficient.

    Kind regards

    Haen

  • My husband has been wearing duomed knee length stockings for over 20 years too and his doctor said they no longer make them. The replacements are too soft and ladder within a day or so. Now his legs are swollen and uncomfortable.

    Two years ago I developed lymphoedema having had op for ovarian cancer. I attend a lymphoedema clinic and I have full length stockings and tights, I am prescribed Medivan, they are excellent, the stockings don't slide down and give me great relief. They haven't laddered and do the job!!

    I am hoping that my husband can be prescribed something similar.

    It is frustrating that Duo Med no longer make what seemed perfect stockings for many years.

  • Sorry Mediven stockings :)

  • That's interesting to hear that the decision to downgrade the Duomed stocking is affecting other people too. Thank you for letting me know that you have found the Medivan useful.

  • I am glad to read it is not just me then that find the quality of the new Duomed stockings appalling and inadequate. I bought mine privately from Daylong thinking I will save the NHS some money trying them and then get them on prescription (as I have other medical issues I get my prescriptions for free). But on the 2nd day of struggling with them they laddered immediately. And no matter how much cream I put on my legs they slide down, unlike the old Duomed which would stay up all day.

  • Hello,

    I've been using Schiebler stockings for the last three years and I have to say they are the best thing since Jobst. Schiebler stockings are German made and your limbs will need to be measured. My lymphoedema therapist orders them via an excellent supplier called Haddenham Healhcare. Their service is second to none. I just cannot believe sometimes that it takes about 4 days for my order to sewn and shipped to my home address.

    hadhealth.com/index.asp?tex...

    I don't represent them or anything.

    My life has been much better ever since I've been introduced to them. I just had to thank them..

    livingwithlymphoedema.blogs...

    I hate Jobst stockings - the pain they've caused me is immeasurable...

    I hope this helps..

  • Many thanks for taking the time to provide this information. I have been fortunate to have received a number of responses to my enquiry. Would I be correct in assuming that you pay for your stockings privately? If so, could you give me some idea of costs?

    Kind regards

    Haen

  • Hello Haen,

    I actually don't pay for them I get them on the NHS. I consider myself extremely lucky to have them considering that lymphoedema therapy seems to be exclusive to cancer patients. I've asked to have some 'sport' pairs made - basically ones with extra compression and I have been informed that each leg costs about £110 (you get two, I think) compared to Jobst's £400+. My therapist had been kind enough to slip those in with my usual 'order'..

    I can't say what it costs for other limbs.

    The Schiebler ones are cotton based and not sort of rubber based like Jobst's - they also tend to be comfy.

    If you look at the ones I wear here:

    livingwithlymphoedema.blogs...

    The brown ones tend to have more compression around the bottom and they are called Venn.

    The black ones go on top - they are called GoldPunkt. I've quoted the prices for these. I suspect the Venn would be a little cheaper.

    I hope that helps..

  • Good morning anami.

    The information that you have provided is excellent. It is many years since my condition was last assessed as the Duomed product seemed to manage the swelling reasonably well. However, I am now armed with a mine of information which I hope will help my decision-making when I am re-assessed ( referral is in the pipeline).

    Thank-you once again.

    Haen.

  • Morning,

    It's been an absolute pleasure. I sincerely hope your re-assessment goes well. From what I've read from your initial question I believe you'd really love Schiebler.

    Your condition is almost akin to mine. I wear 2-ply (Venn and Goldpunkt) full leg level 3 stockings. I used to sew my own calf length stockings from my old Jobst stockings but found having a lighter full leg (under) stocking (Schiebler Venn) works just as well and is much comfier.

    Best wishes and good luck!

  • Hiya, I would just like to say that I have purchased privately from Ebay some old-style Duomed stockings, please do watch that sight every day. At the moment they are too small I have in the past had XL these are Medium. But due to recently being diagnosed with borderline diabetes am watching what I eat and am losing weight. I hope to be able to get into the brand new ones in the not too distant future. So any old-style duomed stockings i see on ebay I am grabbing very gratefully with both hands outstretched even though I can get Medi ones on free prescription because of other health issues. BRING BACK THE OLD STYLE ones I say. Actually has anybody written to them and enquired why they have changed them?

  • What a good idea- never thought of eBay. I haven't written to Duomed but perhaps they should take a look at this forum site discussion if they are looking for feedback on the change in their product!

  • I am so pleased to see that I am not the only one to be irritated by the new Duomed stocking. I wear a below knee open toe sock and it's a nightmare. Constantly having to pull it up. The old ones tended to ladder from the stitching where they are turned over and hemmed at the top, so clearly the needles were splitting the fabric and causing it to ladder. I thought perhaps this was why they had changed the construction, but I'll not be wearing this long enough to find out. I need very strong support at the ankle, but these don't do that - and I am wearing a size medium as before, which I see is smaller than recommended for my measurements. Haen mentioned that there was nowhere in Scotland to be measured, but there is a Lymphoedema clinic in Glasgow which I attend. You will need a doctor's referral. I apologise that I am not able to give the number here, but it is near the Gorbals. I intend to write to Duomed and will tell them to look at this site for feedback.

  • hi there, I have spoken to Medi regarding the changes from duomed to duomed soft and they told me it's a British Standard stocking which means it isn't strong enough for lymphoedema. Apparently duomed soft has been changed to be like other British Standard stockings and they told me to look at another of their range and I spoke to my GP and I'm now in Medi "Plus" and it is much more comfortable. It gives me more support and it's just like the old duomed.

  • Funny thing is Duomed is not even in the Lymphoedema section of the drug tariff - so really why are they giving you it for Lymphoedema,

    I heard that the production of this product shifted from Germany to the US, and that's why it's different - it's an American product!

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