Comfort and Function
LYMPHEDEMA is a chronic swelling of specific areas of the body due to damage to the lymph system. Lymph fluid, a protein rich fluid collects in the tissues when the lymph system is compromised. Protein in the tissues attract additional water and swelling results.
Primary Lymphedema which occurs as a result of a genetic mishap while the fetus is in utero. This will usually present at birth or early childhood, but in some cases in adulthood.
Secondary Lymphedema occurs as the result of damage to the lymphatic vessels usually traumatic injury, surgery involving lymph nodes, radiation therapy post-cancer, or the cancer itself.
It is believed that thirty percent of all breast cancer survivors who undergo lymph node resection and radiation therapy will develop lymphedema.
THE PURPOSE of the lymph system is to filter out waste products in the body. Lymph fluid is predominantly protein, water and large molecular fats, and other waste products, including bacteria and viruses. It is the body’s sewage system. Left untreated, the build up of stagnated lymph fluid in the tissues is not only painful, it leads to localized and systemic infections including cellulitis.
There is no cure for lymphedema at this time. It is considered a life-long condition. Treatment of the condition and education for patient self-care are essential to lymphedema management.
Bio-Concepts Supports a Five-Step Lymphedema Management Program:
- Manual Lymph Drainage, a light touch massage which clears the lymph paths and stimulates the movement of trapped lymph fluid.
- Compression Bandaging with condition-specific bandages and foam inserts to force excess water back into the blood stream and soften fibrotic tissues.
- Therapeutic Exercises geared to the individual patient’s abilities to promote lymph drainage and optimize range of motion and increase physical strength.
- Custom Pressure Garments to be worn daily for support. Applying appropriate pressure to maintain the reduction of lymph fluid in the affected area.
- Patient Compliance includes a comfortable and functional pressure garment.
Our Post-Mastectomy Custom-Made Compression Sleeve and Glove Features the Following:
- Sleeve to Axilla with a silicone-lined band at the top, posterior expansion panel of soft high-stretch fabric, and an anterior elbow insert of the same stretch fabric.
- The sleeve is overlapped by a custom glove with open or closed finger tips which omits the tight and restrictive band at the wrist.
- The sleeve and glove together combine to form a comfortable and functional pump to gently push lymph fluid from the extremity to collection nodes closer to the torso
- Numerous custom configurations are not only feasible, but recommended depending upon the diagnosis and therapy regime.
Bio-Concepts has worked closely with lymphedema specialists to develop a protocol for lymphedema garment design that meet the individual needs of your patients. Gloves may be made without wrist bands and may also be designed to complement the sleeve instead of compounding the pressure. Options such as elbow and finger inserts, expansion panels and Silon-TEX lined proximal bands ensure a custom fit. With five different materials and 30 different colors we have more to offer your patients.
Bio-Concepts specializes in custom service and custom care. Tell us how you want it and we’ll do what we can to make it happen.
We have developed a protocol for lymphedema garments. Let us help you give your patients the custom support they deserve.
Watch Testimonials From Lymphedema Patients Wearing Bio-Concepts Garments
Dana: Pastry Chef, Line Cook, Artist
Dana is a Survivor.
Diagnosed at only 30 years old with Melanoma, right lower extremity. Dana was treated for her cancer and is a survivor. However, she was not warned or prepared for the side effect of Lymphedema which came on abruptly with her return to work. Unable to walk and function, she was eventually referred for treatment with a lymphedema therapist. Her therapist referred her to Bio-Concepts for custom compression garments that would meet the needs of her “unique body build.” Customizing her garments with the necessary options like drape-lining the bands and reinforcing the foot allows her to work, on her feet for extensive hours and have the comfortable support she requires. And her love of colors makes the experience a positive one! Bio-Concepts has “changed her cancer journey, making it easier and better”. She, “has a family here”.
Clare PhD: Psychologist
Clare is a Survivor.
Clare was diagnosed and treated for Breast Cancer more than once and is a survivor. She has developed Bilateral Lymphedema from this but recognizes it is a manageable side effect to treating cancer. Her lymphedema therapist referred her to Bio-Concepts as she had tried to buy different brands of “off the shelf” garments and they never fit properly. She appreciates the detailed measurements taken and the comfortable, functional fit. With the rainbow of colors, she enjoys having fun options available to accessorize. Addressing her arm length while keeping the necessary compression level she is confident she will continue to manage her lymphedema successfully.
Geri: Director of Group Sales with a Dental Insurance Company
Geri is a Survivor.
Over twenty years ago, Geri was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and developed lymphedema post removal of lymph nodes and radiation. Little was known about early treatment of lymphedema and Geri had full blown lymphedema by the time her physician referred her to a lymphedema therapist. Off the shelf garments never met her needs. They were hot, bulky and didn’t stay in place. A relative referred her to Bio-Concepts as a family friend got her custom garments from Bio-Concepts. Geri appreciates the options of different fabric weights, elbow inserts, medical grade Silicone (SilonTEX ®) band and she further appreciates the professional and friendly atmosphere when she visits Bio-Concepts. Compliance is her middle name. She likes to feel, “she is our only patient”.
Christine RN: Home Infusion Nurse, Master Gardener
Christine is a Survivor.
Christine developed lymphedema after her treatment for Breast Cancer which included removal of lymph nodes and radiation to axillary, clavicular and sternal lymph nodes. Christine was referred by a friend who receives her garments from Bio-Concepts. She has come to terms with her body changes and acknowledges she has a manageable condition that has already improved. She likes that Bio-Concepts will work with her to address these reductions and make alterations to her existing garments so she can maintain her reductions. Exceedingly pro-active, she wears her garments 24 hours per day as night swelling is an issue. Christine doesn’t find restrictions wearing her garments. On the contrary, they enable her to stay active and enjoy her favorite activities. She is a volunteer at different botanical gardens and has recently become a Master Gardener. Wearing her shirt and glove may be daunting to other people but she knows she has no limitations. “Putting on her shirt is like a hug”.
Ann is a Survivor.
Six years after being treated for Breast Cancer and developing lymphedema, Ann found a therapist named Lynette Jamison who treated her lymphedema and referred her to Bio-Concepts for custom compression garments. Ann is very happy to have a sleeve that is long enough and provides the correct compression and is comfortable.