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Topic: Info and experience w Active compression like Tactile Flexitouch

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Feb 18, 2018 08:28AM - edited Feb 18, 2018 08:29AM by JeeEmm

JeeEmm wrote:

Hi All,

This is my first post and up-front I want to write that this forum seems really great and I admire all the people who have set it up and share their support and experience.

I am interested in so-called "active" compression. Tactile Medical make one called Flexitouch.

Are they categorically better than "static" compression wraps?

If you have used/are using something like this, what did you/do you think of it?

Thank you,

G

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Feb 18, 2018 12:31PM - edited Feb 18, 2018 01:43PM by Castigame

first of all, I have neither direct or indirect interest in Tactile med.

I started using Flexitouch pump May of 2017. I got left and right sleeves and trunk portion w zero cent co pay. I used to use it daily until I went back to work full time on Jan 2nd of this year. Due to time constraints, I skip here and there. I do my bad arm (17nodes out 4 bad) 4 times a week and good arm(2 out none bad) once a week. After a few tries, I can get in and out of the set up 45 sec tops.

My personal take is it works to reduce swelling and help w circulation. My skin looks beautiful. And it makes me sleep like a baby.

There are other makers of lymphedema machines. Please please ask for one from the many available. These are what is called medical durable equipments so insurance companies should cover 80% at the worst case scenario. PM me for more questions.

Mimi Dx 1/11/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, 0/2 nodes Dx 1/11/2017, IDC: Papillary/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/20/2017 Radiation Therapy 7/30/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 10/29/2017
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Feb 20, 2018 10:43PM ayr1016 wrote:

I have the tactile flexitouch. I do feel that it helps me. I try to use it daily. I have the left arm/trunk and it sets for 60 mins. I put it on at night before bed. I can tell when I miss days in a row. I also daily use a compression sleeve and have a rebounder (mini trampoline). I am trying to best to keep my lymph fluid moving moving moving. My insurance company covered it last year.

DX at age 41, Oncotype DX 15, Neoadjuvant Hormone Therapy: Lupron + Tamoxifen (then Arimidex) Dx 12/22/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 8/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 9/11/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 20, 2018 10:46PM ayr1016 wrote:

p.s. I just want to say, you are immobile for those 60 mins (less if you do not have the trunk part). I watch TV during the massage.

DX at age 41, Oncotype DX 15, Neoadjuvant Hormone Therapy: Lupron + Tamoxifen (then Arimidex) Dx 12/22/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/4/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 8/8/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 9/11/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 22, 2018 02:34AM marg1 wrote:

I have had my flexi touch for years and I love it. I notice a significant difference. I set my alarm early in am put it in a catch an extra hour I’d sleep. I have the arm/ trunk. The customer service is wonderful. I have had replacement of the garments 2x at no cost. I attribute my lymphedema being kept from progressing due to it

Dx 7/5/2005, IDC, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 1/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Nov 22, 2018 02:49PM - edited Nov 22, 2018 02:50PM by Binney4

JeeEmm, welcome!

The Flexitouch and other LE "pumps" are not a replacement for either wrapping or compression garments. Instead, they're used as a kind of substitute for self-MLD (at-home LE "massage"). It moves fluid out of the affected area by preparing node beds to receive lymph fluid and then moving stagnant lymph fluid toward those nodes. Which is also the point of MLD. Once the fluid is moved out of the area, day-time and/or night-time compression garments are worn to keep it from accumulating again. Exercise and skin care are also parts of the self-care routine.

Compression wrapping is the better method for initially clearing excess lymph fluid and swelling because� it can be adjusted at each wrapping to work specifically on areas as needed, which is why well-trained LE therapists use wrapping during the intensive treatment period. It's also helpful for us to learn wrapping ourselves, so we can deal quickly and effectively with flares. Many of us use wrapping also for travel, especially long trips or any changes of altitude, as wrapping can prevent flares that can be both painful and hard to bring back into control.

For many of us, the Flexitouch is both easier and more effective than our own daily efforts at moving lymph fluid. But it is not a substitute for any other part of the LE treatment routine other than self-MLD.

LE is a steep learning curve, for sure! Glad you found us! Please tell us how we can help.

Gentle hugs,
Binney

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Jan 10, 2019 05:08PM NoWhyToIt wrote:

I wish i had the stamina for that intense wrapping. I found it soul crushing and maddening. I have two pumps, I were a night compression padded garment. I'll do anything but that wrapping :) The most effective for me has been seeing a PT to manually move the lymph and work out the scar tissue but there are few super experts on that so it's mixed results depending on who I get. My biggest issue is flying. I can't take connecting flights or it's just brutal for some time after. I wish there was an answer for that.

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