For many people with lymphedema, you may need to buy lymphedema products from a reliable source. You may hold in your hands a prescription from your health care provider, but 1) have no idea what you’re buying, 2) have no idea where to purchase it, and 3) feel unsure that you’re getting the most features or capabilities for your money.
Feeling confused and concerned about the cost of lymphedema products, patients may put off purchases or even ignore their doctor’s suggestions for buying products that could make their lives easier and their health better. Fortunately there are a few simple tips that can make selecting products easier.
1. Go with your doctor or health care provider’s advice. Usually, people with lymphedema need a few items, including compression stockings or arm sleeves, lymphedema bandages and foam padding, sequential compression devices or compression pumps, and other durable medical supplies. For stockings, your doctor may recommend a brand like Mediven, Jobst, Juzo, or Sigvaris.
For sequential compression devices, your doctor may recommend a brand like PresSion, Flexitouch, BioCompression, Wright Therapy, or Kendall. Both compression garments and compression pumps are medical devices, can be somewhat complicated to operate if you’re new to using them and may require assistance to learn how to use properly. It’s tempting to go with an off-name brand to save a few bucks, but your doctor made a recommendation for a tested product for your situation, so it’s advisable to follow the advice of someone familiar with your specific health situation.
2. Don’t purchase a used or refurbished model – you don’t know what you’re getting! Going with a used model could put your health at risk if it doesn’t work properly. The investment you make in a compression pump machine will be one of the most important investments you make because it will help you live a longer and healthier life, allowing you to succeed at work and home and spend more time with family and friends. Unauthorized dealers may purchase your sequential compression device from a middleman. They may not work properly and you will never know. In addition, you may pay a significant amount of money and not have warranty coverage. The risk isn’t worth it.
3. Avoid websites that offer cheaper brands when buying lymphedema products. Instead, look for a website that offers machines with warranties from the quality manufacturers (PresSion, Kendall, Flexitouch, BioCompression, or Wright Therapy, or Jobst, Juzo, Mediven, and Sigvaris) and offers free customer care and support. When you’re buying equipment that costs you or your insurance company hundreds to thousands of dollars, you deserve access to customer support if you need it.
4. Look for brands recommended by recognizable organizations, such as the American Cancer Society. If you’re unsure about a specific brand, contact the manufacturer for information about their product offerings, warranties, customer service, and more, so you can compare.