Why are compression garments so important? Patients with lymphedema have chronic, progressive swelling, pain, recurrent infections, and significantly decreased quality of life. The swelling can progress to gigantic proportions, causing gross disfigurement with severe detrimental effects. Lymphedema has no cure. Treatment focuses on minimizing the swelling and controlling the pain. Lymphedema is a chronic disease that tends to progress.
Some recommendations for compression garment use:
Wear light compression garments during flights greater than three hours or during vigorous exercise.
All patients who have had an isolated episode of swelling should wear a sleeve and/or glove regardless of the length of the flight.
All patients with chronic lymphedema should wear a sleeve and/or glove during ALL air travel.