Bandaging over a Support Garment
At times additional pressure may be necessary. If you are taking a long car or an airline trip, apply bandages over your support stocking or sleeve in order to combat the lengthy period of limited movement or dependent (downward) positioning, as well as the decreased pressure in the plane. If you notice increased swelling at any time, you may need to apply bandages over your support stocking and increase the frequency of home exercises and self massage for a few days, until the limb returns to normal size.
Appropriateness of Support Garment versus Bandaging
At times swelling may occur due to an decrease in pressure (an airline flight), a salty meal, hormonal cycles, or just the heat of summer. Based on your daily assessments and weekly measurements, you can judge whether or not you need additional bandaging. At times of increased swelling when additional bandaging is needed, you may choose to bandage over your support garment or apply the bandages for 1 to 3 days to decrease the swelling quickly. If your garment is too tight due to swelling, you can apply bandages as you have during your treatment period until the swelling goes down and you can comfortably fit into you support garment.
Putting On and Taking Off Compression Garments
This is also called donning and doffing compression garments. Your compression garments are an attractive tool for maintaining lymphedema. They will wear longer if you take care in putting them on and taking them off. Rubber gloves with grippers, such as the Playtex gloves, will help you to put on your stocking or sleeves without tearing holes in them. Turn the garment inside out, except for the foot or wrist part. Slip your foot or hand through and into the correct position (over the heel if it is a stocking), smooth the stocking up your leg (or arm) using the palm of your gloved hand. Do not pull at the upper edge of the stocking, as it may tear the elastic. To take off your stocking or sleeve, simply peel the garment down and slip off. Again, rubber gloves will protect your garment from fingernails and rings, and make donning and doffing your garment easier. We also provide individual instruction in putting on you compression garment.