Spectrum Healthcare – Lymphedema Compression Products

Spectrum Healthcare is a leading supplier of many types of lymphedema compression bandages and pumps, as well as many other lymphedema products. From short compression bandages, used to apply pressure to lymph veins to aid in drainage, to lymphedema compression pumps which are essential in controlling swelling and other lymphedema symptoms, Spectrum Healthcare’s comprehensive line of lymphedema products is sure to have the product or solution that best fits your individualized therapy plan.

Many lymphedema sufferers are able to control their symptoms through the use of various compression techniques. These techniques actively force blood and lymph fluid from tissue and veins, in the case of lymphedema pumps, and also provide resistance the enables the body to work harder on its own, in the case of lymphedema compression products, which can work in tandem to help control the swelling and discomfort associated with lymphedema. Furthermore, these lymphedema products are a vital part of patients’ therapy processes and help sufferers to lead more normal, more active lifestyles.

Lymphedema compression therapy is one of the most widely used and effective treatments for controlling the symptoms of lymphedema. There are many types of lymphedema products that help with compression therapy, but the primary methods of applying controlled pressure are wrap bandages and lymphedema pumps. Each has their own benefits and are typically combined with one another and perhaps other lymphedema therapies to provide the most comprehensive therapy process possible.

Lymphedema compression bandages. Compression bandages, similar to those used for wrist sprains, are simply bandages that are wrapped tightly around the affected area. This compression provides resistance against which the lymph veins can push. This resistance allows the veins to work harder and more efficiently to more completely empty themselves of lymph fluid. In many cases, these compression bandages can enable a greatly increased volume of fluid flow from and can even help to soften tissues and veins that are affected by lymphedema.

Lymphedema pumps. Lymphedema pumps, pneumatic pumps that compress affected areas within inflatable sleeves, are a more active means of lymphedema therapy. These pumps work in a controlled and graduated manner to “cycle” veins through pressure-negative pressure processes by adding and removing pressure. Lymphedema pumps are known to provide similar therapy as that provided by compression bandages and they have the added benefit of softening other tissues which promotes additional fluid flow. However, these pumps may also force lymph fluid into other areas of surrounding tissue, and thus they are often used in conjunction with compression bandages which can help to contain the fluid while it is being evacuated from the area.

While there’s no easy method for controlling lymphedema symptoms, many lymphedema products can be used together to create a personalized, comprehensive therapy plan. These plans work with a patient’s body to promote fluid flow and reduce swelling and discomfort. Additionally, these techniques help to reduce the chance of infection that comes with tissue swelling, a very real danger that can greatly complicate the relief efforts of traditional lymphedema therapy

Lymphedema Relief with Lymphedema Pumps

Lymphedema is a complex and uncomfortable disease that, essentially, results in fluid retention around the extremities in sufferers. This fluid retention causes painful swelling and can even result in limb deformation and potentially deadly infections. Also, because the causes of lymphedema aren’t completely understood, it can be difficult to treat effectively and symptoms will typically progress over the patient’s lifetime. Luckily, there are a few products that are able to help patients to alleviate some of the worst symptoms such as swelling and tightness.

The concept behind lymphedema relief is to treat the fluid buildup. To do this, a variety of techniques involving graduated or constant pressure are used to force excess fluid out of tissue and back into circulation where it can be cleaned by the body. Primarily, this involves a compression wrap, which is similar to the wraps you see on sprain patients, and a lymphedema pump. These two devices work in tandem, each tackling a separate part of the problem.

Compression wraps are very useful in lymphedema therapy because they help the body to work more efficiently. The pressure provided by these wraps will create a rigid structure against which the lymph veins can push. This helps the veins to work more efficiently and to enable positive fluid evacuation from the affected areas. Unfortunately, many patients find that the compression wraps do not totally relieve their symptoms, and this is where lymphedema pumps come in. These pumps are specialized equipment that work with an inflatable sleeve to apply pressure to the areas that are most affected by lymphedema and fluid buildup.

Lymphedema pumps work by applying constant, graduated pressure to an area and then releasing that pressure. This positive-negative pressure cycle helps to simulate the natural flow of blood in the body, and helps to expel fluid from tissues. By doing so, the lymph fluid can circulate in the body properly, where it can be cleaned from the blood without settling into tissues and muscles. Further benefits of lymphedema pumps are that these pumps can help to soften the tissues most often affected by lymphedema and it is this softening effect that promotes natural fluid drainage and circulation.

When used in tandem, compression wraps and lymphedema pumps offer an effective therapy to some of the most unpleasant lymphedema symptoms. And while there is currently no cure for lymphedema, a lymphedema pump is often an essential aspect of patient therapy that helps them to live happier and more comfortable lives.

Venous insufficiency treatments – how do they work?

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins in a person’s legs are not able to effectively pump blood back to the heart. The result is swelling, which can be painful. Venous insufficiency treatments are aimed at getting the blood moving out of the problem area and back into efficient circulation.

In some cases, lifestyle changes can be effective treatments. Often a physician or physical therapist will recommend that a person with venous insufficiency elevate his or her legs above the level of the heart at certain periods of the day and for certain lengths of time. Avoiding standing or sitting for more than an hour at a time may also be recommended along with regular exercise and maintaining an ideal body weight.

While these all can be appropriate venous insufficiency treatments, sometimes the condition is severe enough to require more direct treatment. In these cases, there are two methods of therapy that have been shown quite effective for most people: compression pumps and compression wraps.

Compression pump systems consist of a compression pump that is programmable, and different styles of garments, or sleeves, that fit over the affected body part, which in the majority of cases is the lower leg below the knee. Other sleeves are designed to be worn over the hands and arms when these areas are affected.

Based on direction from the physician, patients can program their pumps to deliver a specific amount of pressure as well as dictate the speed of the pressure and the type of compression, either sequential or graduated. An example of a top level pump is the Biocompression Sequential Circulator SC 2004.

This device works well to reduce pain and swelling by, in a sense, taking over for the lymphatic system and moving fluid back into proper circulation. It is used to treat lymphedema (either primary or secondary) and also venous stasis ulcers that can result from venous insufficiency. It’s easy to use, portable and economical.

Compression wraps are worn over the affected area and provide constant pressure to prevent blood pooling and swelling. They’re available in a number of styles and sizes. Many patients opt for these when more intense therapy from pumps is not necessary.

Spectrum Healthcare are experts in venous insufficiency treatments and the equipment used to reduce edema in patients with swelling disorders. We’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you have about our lymphedema products if you’ll call (888) 210-5576. You can also contact us through our website.

What is venous insufficiency treatment and what does it accomplish?

When the veins in a person’s extremities – usually the lower legs – are not effective in circulating blood up to the heart, the person is said to have venous insufficiency. This condition, like most, has unique risk factors and symptoms. Venous insufficiency treatment is also specialized with the goal of reducing swelling and pain by “jump-starting” blood flow in the lower legs.

This problem can be either acute or chronic. Certain illnesses and injuries can cause it, in which cases it usually clears up once the illness or injury no longer exists. Chronic venous insufficiency is more commonly seen and is caused by an alteration in the valves in the blood vessels. It will present health challenges to patients for a long period or for the rest of their lives.

In a “healthy” body, the deep leg vein valves work well to prevent blood from collecting in the lower extremities. But if the valves are damaged or simply are no longer there, blood will linger in the veins. This is a particular problem for people who spend long amounts of time on their feet.

Various other factors create the risk of developing this condition. Older people, particularly women, are more susceptible as are people who are taller than average, obese, pregnant or have an existing or previous case of deep vein thrombosis in one or both legs. As noted, people who are on their feet for long periods are more at risk, and so are people who are seated for hours at a time.

A number of symptoms can be present including pain, changes in the color of skin in the area of the ankles – often redness – superficial varicose veins, harder and thicker skin on ankles and legs and leg and ankle ulcers.

The most commonly prescribed venous insufficiency treatment is either compression stockings worn on the affected area or compression pumps, which send steady or intermittent air pressure through sleeves worn where there is swelling.

Many varieties of treatment equipment are available. Spectrum Healthcare has a wide understanding of swelling and inflammation conditions and we carry a full line of products designed to help people reduce swelling and pain.

If your physician has recommended venous insufficiency treatment, give us a call at (888) 210-5576. You can also reach us through our website here. We’ll be happy to help you find the products that work optimally for you.

How two types of lymphedema equipment help patients live better lives

A person with lymphedema knows how uncomfortable swelling in various parts of their bodies can make them feel. Excess fluid buildup, particularly in the outer extremities, is a symptom that can result from injury or a variety of medical conditions. Thanks to innovative lymphedema equipment, this symptom can be successfully treated.

We’ll look at the two primary pieces of equipment for treating and managing swelling disorders – compression wraps and compression pumps.

Compression wraps
When there is swelling in the extremities, several different styles of compression wraps are able to improve blood supply to the area and keep distention and swelling down. Wraps are made of either elastic or non-elastic materials, some with several layers. Each is ideal for delivering specific compression levels.

Used correctly under the direction of a physician, compression wraps are excellent lymphedema equipment to help decrease painful swelling and heal venous stasis ulcers.

In the case of the lower extremities, some of these wraps deliver compression to the entire lower leg and foot; others focus primarily on the ankles. Most are easy to adjust in order to obtain a therapeutic compression level and can be worn both day and night.

Compression pumps
Pumps deliver an automated level of compression by inflating a series of chambers within vinyl sleeves that are worn over the swollen area. Various styles are designed for targeted therapy for feet, arms, hands and legs, which are the most common areas of swelling.

These pumps are programmable for a specific pressure, speed and type of compression – graduated or sequential.

Compression pumps work well at reducing swelling and its resultant pain. They actually mimic the action of the lymphatic system to push backed-up fluid out of the affected area and back into circulation within the body. Wound healing is quickened because of increased circulation and the therapeutic effect is consistent and predictable.

Of course there are many other features to these types of lymphedema equipment. Spectrum Healthcare handles a full line of wraps and pumps made by top manufacturers. When your doctor prescribes compression treatment, see us first for the best quality devices at the most competitive prices.

If you have questions about specific lymphedema products or want to know more about how this equipment is used, you can visit us in Phoenixville, PA., or give us a call at (888) 210-5576. You can also send an e-mail by clicking here.

What are the benefits of lymphedema compression therapy?

Lymphedema can be the result of genetics, but in most cases it comes from various injuries or infections that affect the lymphatic system and cause it to operate ineffectively. In either case, the patient experiences often painful swelling, most commonly in the lower extremities, i.e., legs, ankles and feet.

Some patients also have edema (swelling) in the arms, wrists and fingers. Fortunately there are lymphedema compression devices that are designed to reduce swelling in both the legs and arms.

Compression is accomplished with both wraps and compression pumps. Wraps, sometimes called compression garments, serve to give support to the muscles in the affected area and cause them to move lymph fluid out of that area. By preventing fluid build-up, the patient experiences a decrease in pain and discomfort.

Compression pumps provide sequential pneumatic treatment for swelling conditions by mimicking the lymphatic system, causing lymph fluid to move out of the affected area and in the right direction through the body. Pump therapy also aids in wound healing by increasing blood circulation. Pumps work by sending constant or intermittent pressure to a specialized wrap or garment worn by the patient.

For lymphedema compression to be effective, patient compliance is critical. This means that patients need to follow the orders of their physicians and apply their wraps and use their pumps for the prescribed amount of time each day and, in the case of pump therapy, have the correct level of pressure sent to the body part.

Using compression systems for the first time can be disconcerting, but your healthcare provider will explain the process thoroughly to you, answer your questions and address your concerns. Spectrum Healthcare also can help with various aspects of lymphedema therapy.

We carry a complete line of lymphedema wraps and pump systems as well as a wide range of related accessories and equipment. Because we’re recognized experts in compression products and know how they work and how you should apply them, we’re able to provide the support you need every day.

If you’re a lymphedema patient and would like to know more about lymphedema compression products, one of our friendly staff members would be happy to help you select the optimal therapeutic devices for your specific condition. You can reach us at (888) 210-5576, or you can contact us through our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

What are Compression Systems Used For?

Compression systems are one of the most effective ways to treat venous disorders. Understanding compression systems requires a basic understanding of how our circulatory system works. Made up of a system of blood vessels that move blood throughout our bodies propelled by the beating of our hearts, our circulatory system consists of arteries (which carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart) and veins (which carry the used, or oxygen-poor blood back to the heart.

Veins are hollow tubes that are flexible with valves (flaps) inside that open or close to keep the blood flowing in only one direction. When those valves become damaged due to a venous disorder, the valves might not work properly and fail to close all the way. When valves don’t close properly then blood doesn’t just flow in the proper direction, but in both directions, or it can leak backward.

Compression systems

Compression systems refers to compression garments or bandages that when applied to affected areas, place pressure on the distended veins pushing them together. Compression garments may be static (immobile, like an elastic bandage) or powered, containing air cells and capable of a “massage” type motion. Air is moved into the air cells of a garment via a pump set to a selected pressure. When the air cells are filled in a special sequence, a “wave” motion is created on the affected area similar to a massage. This massage encourages lymphatic uptake and venous return, which in turn lessens swelling and excess fluid.

Compression systems have been shown to effectively treat a variety of venous disorders. Here are a few examples of ailments and how compression is utilized to improve the condition.

Bandaging and wraps

Venus stasis ulcers usually occur in the legs and thought to be due to malfunctioning venous valves. They are the primary cause of chronic wounds. Excess fluid (edema) interferes with the healing process, so compression therapy is utilized to reduce swelling.

Negative pressure wound therapy

Negative pressure wound therapy, or “wound suction,” is especially useful in healing wounds that are difficult to treat with conventional wound dressings. Wounds that are large, or that would require frequent dressing changes, benefit from wound suction. By exerting negative pressure on a wound, the excess fluids are gently drawn from the wound. Think of it as a suction cup over the wound.

Edema treatments

Lymphedema is swelling in parts of the body, sometimes severe and generally occurring in the arms and legs. This can lead to fibrosis. With compression therapy, pressure is placed on the arm or leg, promoting the lymphatics fluid uptake.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Often caused by a hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) affects the circulation in the legs and feet by affecting the peripheral arteries outside of the heart, the ones that keep your limbs supplied with oxygen-rich blood. Graduated compression therapy is considered one of the best ways to treat this disease.
You’ll also see compression systems used for venous insufficiency, non-healing wounds, and many others.

What are Compression Systems Used For?

Compression systems are used as treatment for a variety of circulatory and vascular issues, which can be eased by compression therapy products whether the symptoms are mild or severe. Disorders widely recognized as treatable with compression therapy include edema, lymphedema, PAD, chronic non-healing wounds, venous disease and others.

Wraps and bandaging

Venus stasis ulcers on the lower extremities, frequently seen in wound care facilities, have been shown to heal better when compression wraps are applied. To heal venous ulcers it is essential that edema (abnormally large fluid volume) is eliminated. Although there is some controversy regarding the most effective use of compression wraps for the treatment of venous stasis ulcers, when used with correct assessment between patient and caregiver, compression wraps are effective.

Negative pressure wound therapy

Commonly referred to as “wound suction,” negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) assists in healing difficult to treat wounds, particularly those not conducive to conventional wound dressings, such as large wound or one that would require frequent change of bandages. With NPWT, the negative pressure pump functions as a vacuum, creating a very tight seal on the skin around the wound. The pump applies negative pressure, creating a gentle vacuum on the wound that “suctions” out the unwanted and excess fluids.

Lymphedema Treatments

Lymphedema is marked by swelling in various parts of the body, but usually occurs in the arms and legs. The swelling can become severe, resulting in the arm or leg becoming very large and heavy, possibly resulting in disability and disfigurement. Chronic inflammation can also result in fibrosis, and the area is highly susceptible to bacterial and systemic infections.

Lymphedema is commonly treated by increasing pressure on the limb, which promotes the lymphatics fluid uptake. Limb elevation is a simple method of treatment, using nothing more than gravity. Pressure on the limb can also be increased by applying special bandages, or through the use of medical compression stockings which stimulate blood flow.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, is most commonly caused by atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries. PAD occurs outside the heart in the peripheral arteries that keep your limbs supplied with blood, mostly affecting circulation in the legs and feet. One of the best ways to treat PAD is with graduated compression therapy, clinically proven speed up the healing process of ulcerative wounds.

Venous insufficiency

Chronic venous insufficiency is the condition of leg veins being unable to pump an adequate amount of blood to the heart. Modern treatment primarily means using graduated compression to improve the circulation. Compression stockings are available in a variety of compressions. The correct compression should be determined after consultation with a medical professional. Stockings with high compression (over 20mm Hg) require a prescription.

Non-healing wounds

Wounds that are the result of bed sores, ulcers, or those that follow cancer treatment, can be extremely stubborn during the healing process, and may in fact not heal at all. These types of wounds—those not responding to conventional treatment—are classified as being chronic or non-healing wound. For wounds to heal, they require an increased blood flow. When the flow is restricted, compression systems can be used to increase blood flow to the troubled area, thereby accelerating the healing process.

Is Compression Therapy Covered by Healthcare?

With compression therapy recognized as a very effective way to treat venous disorders, many insurance companies cover it, either completely or at a reduction in cost to you. Much of the equipment used in compression therapy is covered by Medicare and a majority of insurance plans. Below is a list of items and notes about payment options.

If a patient meets a specific set of guidelines, they may qualify to get a compression therapy pump through Medicare. In addition, as long as a patient continues to qualify, Medicare will replace the pump every five years.

Optional payments
If a patient doesn’t qualify or have insurance, many compression therapy equipment suppliers offer payment plans. They will generally consider each patient on a case by case basis.

Commonly referred to as “Co-Pay,” when insurance covers only a percentage of a treatment and the patient is expected to pay for the remainder, it is considered co-insurance. If, for example, an insurance company pays 75%, the patient must pay the other 25%.

Paying for co-insurance
The patient’s share of co-insurance is generally due at the time of set-up. A payment plan for the patient’s share of the cost is sometimes available on a case by case basis. Check with your supplier for their requirements regarding paying for co-insurance.

Must I pay for co-insurance?
Yes. By law, the company must collect, or attempt to collect, co-insurance from each patient. Legally, the supplier cannot let a patient simply not pay their share.

Financial hardship
If a patient is facing financial hardship, some compression therapy suppliers offer a financial hardship policy. In some cases, if a patient is experiencing hardship and meets all qualifying requirements, the patient’s share of the co-insurance payment may be forgiven.

Are you covered?
When a physician sends a patient’s order to a compression therapy business, they will verify coverage by contacting the patient’s insurance provider.

Pneumatic Compression Devices

One of the most common treatments for lymphedema involves the use of pneumatic compression devices as a way to relieve the swelling associated with the disease. Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when the lymphatic system fails to properly remove excess fluids from the body. Lymphedema commonly affects the legs, arms, and feet with excessive swelling making it difficult to manage day-to-day activities. Lymphedema, while it cannot be cured, can be controlled with the use of pneumatic compression devices.

Doctors will often prescribe the use of pneumatic compression pump to stimulate circulation in order to alleviate the fluid build-up in limbs. Pneumatic compression devices a comprised of a pump attached to a sleeve that can be fitted to the affected body part. Once the pneumatic compression device is activated it will assist the body in drain the surfeit of fluid away from that area. The pneumatic compression pump inflates and deflates the sleeve creating a squeezing action resulting in the fluids returning to the lymphatic system.

One of the benefits of using pneumatic compression devices is the ability to go about your daily life without being confined during treatment. Modern pneumatic compression devices are quiet and lightweight making it easy to take them with you wherever you go. The added bonus is that most pneumatic compression devices are covered by medical insurances once they are prescribed by a doctor.

Pneumatic compression devices are referred to as compression pumps and lymphedema pumps; whatever the name they all serve the same purpose which is to provide relief from detrimental swelling. Pneumatic compression devices have proven to be useful for other conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and circulatory problems. For more information on pneumatic compression devices, please contact us or visit our website.