During your treatment, the therapists have been teaching you how to apply compression bandages. Long-term management of lymphedema requires the use of support stockings (or sleeves) during the day and bandaging at night (unless an alternative system, such as the Jovi sleeve is used). A cotton under-stocking is covered with a layer of foam padding. Short-stretch compression bandages are applied over the foam padding. The technique of wrapping over the foam padding helps to even out the compression, avoiding a tourniquet effect. Those who are physically not able to apply bandages should have a family member, friend, or assistant help them. Your therapist will be happy to teach your friends, loved ones, and assistants how to care for you. We strongly encourage those who are able to learn the art of self-bandaging because there are times when your care-givers may not be available. You may also find it helpful to chat with other clients about their tips for self-bandaging. Self-bandaging will awkward at first, however, with practice most patients become proficient.
Each time you come in with your self-bandaged limb (or after a weekend of self-bandaging) we will assess how you are doing with bandaging and give pointers to help improve your skills, if necessary. If a family member, friend, or assistant bandages you, we offer the opportunity to observe them bandaging and provide tips for better bandaging technique. We can schedule additional time for watching you apply bandages at your request, or if the therapist deems it necessary.