Use of compression therapy in patients with lymphoedema
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Use of compression therapy in patients with lymphoedema

Anita Hobday Chair, Macmillan Lymphoedema Association, University of Worcester, Worcester, England

Compression therapy is an effective and common approach to the management of lymphoedema, a chronic condition requiring long-term treatment. Lymphoedema is caused by the accumulation of fluid in soft tissue, resulting in swelling of the affected limb or area. Lymphoedema may be primary, as a result of a genetic abnormality, or secondary, as a result of injury, including non-accidental injury, or following treatments such as radiotherapy and/or surgery. The condition is characterised by a high protein oedema and secondary skin changes. This article outlines features of the various types of compression therapy used to treat patients with lymphoedema, including details of their application, effectiveness, indications and contraindications.

Nursing Standard. 30, 27, 50-60. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.27.50.s46


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Received: 11 June 2014

Accepted: 06 July 2015