Promoting Lymphatic Research + Giveaway!

Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that affects 10 million Americans and hundreds of millions worldwide. Symptoms include swelling in one or more parts of the body. Although many people are affected by lymphedema, many patients go undiagnosed or untreated due to a lack of knowledge and resources. To change this, many organizations, companies, doctors and patients are coming together to promote awareness and find a cure for lymphedema.

LE&RN

The Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 to promote research in the fields of lymphatic diseases, lymphedema, and related disorders. Through their industry outreach program, LE&RN has established partnerships with the biotech and pharmaceutical industries working to find improved treatments and cures.

The Lymphatic Education & Research Network offers support and provides resources to lymphedema patients, including a tool to find a local lymphedema therapist. LE&RN has established a patient registry and tissue bank to serve as a repository of information for current and future researchers. Several fellowship grants are awarded each year to doctors, scientists, and organizations working in the field of lymphatic research. The immediate goal is to expand our understanding of the lymphatic system.

Actress Kathy Bates partnered up with the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN) to build awareness about lymphedema. Some people are born with it, others, like Kathy Bates develop lymphedema after a mastectomy. Lymphedema is commonly caused after the lymph nodes are damaged or removed from breast cancer treatment, or it may develop after injury or surgery.

Medi For Help

Mediven, a compression hosiery company, is making a difference in Haiti. Medi For Help was founded in 2010 after an earthquake struck the country leaving more than 300,000 men, women and children injured. This relief project provides amputees with lower limb prostheses and offers orthopedic, wound care and lymphedema treatment. Medi For Help has provided treatment to 4,500 Haitians and counting. The project provides support once the patient starts walking again. Medi For Help also now treats patients with diabetes or those recovering from a car accident.

Compression Garments To Manage Lymphedema

Although there’s no cure for lymphedema (yet!) the condition can be managed with the help of a lymphedema therapist, compression garments, Manual Lymph Drainage, and other techniques. Many compression companies are paving the way in wound care and lymphedema treatment to provide innovative, comfortable and effective high compression garments.

Strong & Durable Wraps

Compression wraps are a great alternative to high compression garments and are much easier to put on. Many brands like CircAid, BiaCare and Solaris offer durable and effective options to manage lymphedema. Browse our Wrap Catalog for a variety of ankle, thigh high and full leg wraps.

Everyday Compression For Lymphedema

Many brands offer compression knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose and armsleeves in high compression levels to manage lymphedema. Choose from a variety of sizes, styles, fabrics and compression levels to find the perfect fit for you. Each brand offers different sizing, so make sure to check the size charts for an accurate fit. Save yourself some work and use our Size Machine to automatically calculate your size in all the biggest brands!

Stylish and Supportive Options

Say goodbye to boring old beige armsleeves and stockings. Introducing LympheDivas fashionable compression armsleeves, gloves and gauntlets in a variety of sizes, lengths and compression levels for the perfect look and feel. Looking for more patterned armsleeves? Try the Juzo Signature sleeves, available in three compression levels. Add some style to any outfit in the Juzo Dream Collection, available in a variety of knee highs, thigh highs, leggings, pantyhose and armsleeves in solid and tie-dye seasonal colors.

Lymphedema Awareness Month Giveaway!

In honor of the second annual World Lymphedema Day on Monday, March 6, 2017, BrightLife will be offering a $100 gift card for lymphedema compression garments. Through the month of March, enter to win below!

To enter, log in with your email address or Facebook information below. Then, choose how you would like to enter: You can answer a question, leave a comment about the blog post, follow us on Twitter, or tweet a message. Click here for more help. Good luck!! The contest ends Friday, March 31st at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pete@BrightLife Direct

Google+

Sigvaris to acquire Biacare

Last month, Sigvaris announced that they have signed a purchase agreement with Biacare, a small manufacturer of lymphedema, wound care and bandaging products.  Sigvaris is one of the largest compression stocking manufacturers in the world.  Still a family owned and managed company, Sigvaris corporate headquarters are in Switzerland, but they have manufacturing facilities around the world.  Their US mill in Peachtree City, GA is in the midst of a major expansion project that will double the size of the facility.

sigvaris-biacare-blogBiacare, also a family owned company, specializes in short stretch velcro wraps, bandaging, and specialty compression garments that are mainly used to treat lymphedema, lymphoedema and serious venous diseases.  Biacare’s CompreFit and CompreFlex lines of compression wraps have excellent customer reviews, and their bandaging is very competitively priced.

The merger of Sigvaris and Biacare completes the consolidation of the small family run businesses that specialize in the manufacture of specialty lymphedema garments in the US.  Mediven purchased Circaid in 2014.  Lohmann & Rauscher purchased Solaris in 2015, and BSN-Jobst purchased Farrow Medical and JoviPak in the past year.

BrightLife Direct has sold products from all of these small specialty manufacturers for many years.  As a whole, we see the mergers between these large stocking mills and small specialty businesses as being a positive one for our customers.  Before the corporate acquisitions, products made by Circaid, Farrow, JoviPak and Solaris could not be returned once they were opened.  Corporate backing has changed this.  Like we do on compression stockings, BrightLife Direct can now offer our 30-day guarantee on ready-to-wear wraps that can often cost hundreds of dollars for just one limb.

reduction-kit-for-blogThese mergers have also fostered some great innovation.  Medi and Circaid have led the way with the development of Reduction Kits used during the initial decongestive phase of lymphedema treatment.  In the decongestive phase, the affected limb is wrapped every day with multiple layers of bandaging, padding, and gauze.  This treatment can go on for months, and the whole wrapping and unwrapping process can take hours each day.  Reduction Kits are customizable short stretch velcro wraps that eliminate all the wrapping.  These garments can change the life of someone dealing severe lymphedema.

What fabrics provide the best containment?

In a recent post, we explained the difference between compression and containment, and the importance of containment when treating edema. In this blog, we’ll discuss some different  options (both custom and ready-to-wear) that provide excellent containment.

Mediven Mondi Esprit Armsleeve 30-40mmHg

Flat knit fabrics provide the highest containment. Flat knit is just as it sounds – a flat piece of fabric that is sewn together with a seam, unlike the circular knit compression garments seen in most stores, which have no seam.  This is the fabric that custom compression stockings and armsleeves are made from.  Custom flat knit stockings are typically prescribed for individuals with large or unusual limb shapes that can’t fit into the ready-to-wear sizes available online or in stores. Custom compression garments are also prescribed for those who have acute or chronic edema or lymphedema.  For upper extremity lymphedema, we do offer one non-custom option in this flat knit fabric – the Medi Mondi Esprit armsleeve. This armsleeve provides the best arm containment and is available in 5 sizes and two lengths.

ReadyWrap Solaris

Another option for high containment, is alternative compression wraps.  These are strips of non-elastic fabric that wrap around your leg, held in place by velcro.  On some brands, like the Juxta line from CircAid, the compression level can be adjusted.  Compression wraps provide dynamic compression, which means they are only working when your muscles are pushing back against the fabric.  This allows them to be worn round-the-clock if necessary.  Other examples of compression wraps are ReadyWrap by Solaris, FarrowWrap, and CompreFit by Biacare.

 

However, for most people, a ready-to-wear circular knit compression stocking (the type you would buy from us) will provide all the compression and containment necessary to treat your condition.   In the circular knits, there are options that provide a high level of containment.  They are Juzo Dynamic, Sigvaris 500 Rubber Series, and Mediven Forte. Talk to your doctor to see if one of these options are right for you.

Can you wear compression stockings at night?

The short answer is no, at least for high compression garments over 30mmHg, unless you have been instructed to do so by your doctor. Lighter compression garments like anti-embolism stockings can be worn at night, as well as mild compression of 8-15mmHg.  If you need compression round the clock, your doctor or therapist will probably recommend a different type of compression garment when you sleep, like bandaging or a nightwear garment.

Short stretch bandaging or wrapping is often worn at night by individuals who have lymphedema or chronic edema.  This type of compression is very mild when resting.  The bandage only provides resistance and significant compression when the underlying muscles are active and pushing against the bandage.

Tribute by Solaris Medical is specifically designed for nighttime wear.  Tribute garments can be worn on any part of the body and each garment is custom made.  The outer layer is made of a stretchy fabric that provides compression.  The interior is filled with foam chips that gently massage the tissues while you sleep, which helps release interstitial fluids and reduce swelling.  Tribute garments are very comfortable so they won’t interfere with your sleep, and the fabric is specially treated to remove moisture and help keep you cool.

BiaCare makes a similar line of nighttime garments.  Their foam and chip sleeves can be worn at night.  Both are available in ready-to-wear sizes and custom.  In combination with  an oversleeve, the foam sleeve provides 10-15mmHg and the chip 15-20mmHg.

Biacare’s CompreFit system for legs, can also be worn at night.  CompreFit mimics the compression of short stretch bandaging, but is much easier to put on and take off.  The calf unit, which includes a boot for the foot, provides compression up to the knee.  A thigh unit can be added to provide compression from foot to groin.

Similarly, Circaid JuxtaFit and JuxtaLite products can be worn round the clock.

Before beginning any nighttime compression regimen, be sure to consult with your doctor or therapist.

Pete@BrightLife Direct