In the world of compression for lymphatic disorders, what facilitates the “best outcomes” isn’t always our application of multilayer short stretch compression bandages. If that doesn’t work for our client “Anita”, then why would we insist on her utilizing it? Sure, some products are better than others, and it all depends on the client’s compliance, shape, level of activity and mobility, presence of wounds, etc. The “best fit” for compressive therapy and to reach “best outcomes” depends on a multitude of factors. If we’re not meeting a client to assess where he/she is at with these multifactorial considerations, we are missing the mark to appropriately treat them. Amazing products exist on the market these days, and thinking outside of the box is how we are able to successfully assist clients in lymphedema management.
“A look into the literature shows that a viable alternative to compression bandaging is the use of adjustable compression wraps”, (ACW). These devices are made of low-elastic short stretch material that secure with hook and loop fasteners and are designed for self-application. Several studies have found ACWs to be significantly cheaper and just as effective at healing stasis ulcerations as multilayer compression bandaging. Adjustable compression wraps have also been found to:
- reduce both the visit time and number of visits needed in the clinic
- allow patients more flexibility with wound and skin hygiene
- be more comfortable due to self-adjustability by the patient or caregiver
- be effective at reducing edema and maintaining sub-bandage pressure again due to adjustability.