• Max's Avatar

    I have lymphedema. I was diagnosed in 7/11. What is the reason for wearing a compression sleeve?

    Asked by Max on Monday, November 26, 2012

    I have lymphedema. I was diagnosed in 7/11. What is the reason for wearing a compression sleeve?

    I have worn a compression sleeve off and on, and it doesn't seem to make any difference. I have a lot of pain and tingling. Is this to be expected?

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • RachaelC@StF's Avatar
      RachaelC@StF Community Outreach Coordinator 317-528-7794

      Hi Max. A compression sleeve is worn to apply pressure that keeps the lymph moving in the right direction. When your body is fighting infection, it sends extra fluid and WBC to get rid of that infection. It is when those lymph nodes and vessels are missing that the body has trouble getting rid of that excess fluid and lymphedema is a result- hence the pain and tingling. If the pain and tingling has gotten worse, I'd suggest you visit your doctor. Also, there are trained therapists who deal specifically with lymphedema and most insurances cover these visits. (I'd suggest calling your insurance to find out.) If you need any more information, the American Cancer Society has very thorough information out on their website:

      Good Luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • GrinnieK's Avatar

      Getting more treatment information from a trained specialist is a great idea, they can be a resource as you have more questions. Everyone is different, they can help you with treatment, self-treatment and prevention. The link in RachaelC answer has a lot of good info also.

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      From my understanding the compression sleeve helps keep the fluid moving and keeps the inflamation down.....

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think you may be confusing lymphedema and neuropathy. Lymphedema is the swelling (edema) within the lymphatic system. Compression is intended to minimize the swelling by forcing blockages in the lymph system to flow better. Neuropathy is a neurological condition in which nerves do not function fully and results in numbness and/or tingling sensation.

      The compression sleeve will not help with neuropathy. In fact it could worsen it by constricting movement. The compression sleeve may not be helping your lyphedema either if you are only using it off and on.

      I would talk to your oncologist and provide specific symptoms so he/she can determine if you also have peripheral neuropathy. Lymphatic massage may be an option to manage your lymphedema and still allow the movement that reduces pain and numbness/tingling from neuropathy.

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I also have Lymphedema -- and struggling with the benefitsof and the wearing of the sleeve. I originally had compression wrap and massage to reduce swelling. If I wear sleeve without glove, the hand puffs up -- wearing the glove with the sleeve helps but restricts use of hand. I agree that treatment and guidance from a trained specialist is the key. I have to travel for about an hour to see one. However, our local Hospital is working on a Grant to have a Lymphedema Clinic so that will be wonderful --- and I certainly will utilize this service.

      over 4 years ago
    • sewfun928's Avatar

      I also have lymphedema, 15 nodes were removed. We found that the compression sleeve caused more problems in my thumb and wrist, wearing bot glove and sleeve also caused problems. What works best for me is wrapping every other night. I know wrapping can be a pain but it seems to help. Work with yur doctor and therapists to see what works for you. Also I just had my expanders removed and my implants put in and some of my swelling went down. My plastic surgeon said that a lot of times it happens and they do not know why. Hang in there.

      over 4 years ago
    • Paw's Avatar

      Hi Max. My doctor asked me if I wanted a compression sleeve for my right arm. I had swelling and pain in my right arm. My doctor told me it was due to the removal of my lymph nodes (on the right side). The sleeve would help move the fluid to the left side to reduce the swelling and pain. I refused the sleeve and just used Ace bandages. My lymph nodes were removed in 1998 and my right arm started swelling about two months ago. Which I think has something to do with the fluid on my right lung. Fluid has been drained from my right lung since March 2012. I was told it was due to the chemo. I had my last chemo (Abraxane) treatment in August.

      over 4 years ago
    • derekclt's Avatar

      Have you all received the answers to your questions? I just stumbled upon this thread and I am a certified lymphedema therapist. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to explain anything that hasn't already been explained.

      over 3 years ago

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