Short Stretch Compression Garments

The short stretch bandage is a wrap used in the treatment of lymphedema. It is called "short stretch" because of its rating on elasticity. These bandages are rated at 30% to 90%, which means they can stretch up to 90% beyond their actual non extended length. Because of this, they are able to provide continual compression on the lymphedema limb. These compression garments work in conjunction with your muscles to help not only prevent additional swelling, but to help lymph flow.

Short stretch bandages are used extensively during the treatment phase of lymphedema. They increase interstitial pressure, which reduces filtration of the blood capillaries. Such bandages are an important part of managing patients with lymphedema although the process can take quite a long time.

Short stretch bandages also provide a wide range of compression. It provides low resting compression, which is safer and more comfortable, but higher working compression when the user is up and about, and it varies the compression to meet the user’s need. The more the extremity tries to swell, the harder the garment works to prevent it. Because it works better when the user is active, users are generally encouraged to exercise in their bandages. Because of the low resting compression, it is also safer and more comfortable for patients with arterial disease. Since the bandages are applied with Velcro, the garment can be quickly and easily adjusted to provide the same performance whether the limb is swollen or not.