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Primary & Secondary Lymphoedema Online & in the Community

This page is a new addition to the website and is currently being written

What is compression?

As you have now been diagnosed with lymphoedema the next step will be for you to see a lymphoedema therapist.  If your lymphoedema is in your arm or leg, then you will be measured for a compression garment which will help to reduce and control your swelling.  This works by putting pressure on the tissues to stop fluid build-up and help the fluid drain from your affected limb.

Understanding Compression

Understanding compression can be confusing which is why you need to work with your lymphoedema specialist.  Compression can be made to measure or off the shelf, but I do recommend strongly that you need to be measured by a lymphoedema specialist as compression comes in a different class, size, strength and styles.  They can also be flat knit or round knit or possibly you could be given Velcro wraps.  

Unique to you

Compression garments should be made for you, using your exact measurements by a lymphoedema specialist.  If your limb needs firmer support or has lost its shape due to your swelling, then you will receive a made to measure garment.   When your affected limb is outside the range available you will receive an off the shelf compression garment.

Flat Knit

Flat knit compression garments are made on a flatbed computerised knitting machine which is programmed to your exact measurements and these garments will have a seam.

Circular Knit

Circular knit garments are seamless and are knitted on a computerised cylinder machine.  They are now made in different colours and patterns and are often in a thinner material.  Suitable for limbs that are more regular in shape and where the skin is supple and hasn't broken down. Available on prescription or off the shelf.  L-W-O members the fact they can choose the colour.



Compression therapy

The photograph is of L-W-O member Jane Hoy

This sleeve is effective therapy for arm, breast and torso lymphoedema and can be used in clinic or at home.

The sleeve can only be prescribed by a medical professional or therapist.

​Not recommended if you have had;

  • a DVT or pulmonary embolism
  • inflammatory phlebitis
  • acute infection of limb
  • decompensate cardiac failure
  • congestive heart failure
  • severe arteriosclerosis
  • ischemic vascular disease
  • any circumstances where increased venous and lymphatic return is undesirable

Farrow Wraps

Some of our members use Farrow Wraps for compression as the above photograph shows the wraps.  Below photograph shows our member now able to get her normal compression garments on.


Lymphoedema Framework, Template for practice compression hosiery in lymphoedema. London MEP Ltd, 2006 for Lower Limb Hosiery

Lymphoedema Framework Template for compression hosiery in upper body lymphoedema.  2009, Health Comm UK Ltd., Aberdeen