Compression Device

Chronic leg swelling relieved by compression pump.

Terry Benz, 61, has suffered with severe swelling in his legs for more than half his life, and the problem grew progressively worse over time. Terry’s leg swelling began with a triggering event in his past, but then it became chronic.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Compression therapy has alleviated the swelling in Terry’s legs.

“Thirty-something years ago, I was struck by a car, and I suffered quite a bad break in the tibia and fibula of my lower right leg,” Terry describes. “That messed up the lymph system, so I’ve always had a swelling problem in that leg. But the lymphedema, the condition that causes the excessive swelling, ended up affecting both legs.

“Over the years, I wore orthopedic socks and elevated my legs, but my legs became so swollen, I could barely bend my knees. Last summer, I went to a walk-in clinic, and they did a sonogram to see if I had any blood clots. I didn’t have any clots, but they recommended that I see a vascular specialist.

“The vascular specialist performed tests that showed there were no issues with my veins, so the swelling problem was only with my lymph system. The doctor suggested that I get in touch with Acute Wound Care and start compression therapy on my legs.”

Acute Wound Care is a fully accredited home medical equipment provider specializing in hospital-grade compression devices and specialty wound-care dressings. The compression pumps, which reduce swelling caused by conditions such as venous disease and lymphedema, are prescription devices. They are approved by most insurers. Leslie, a certified compression therapist from Acute Wound Care, was sent to Terry’s home to set up the compression pump and educate him about the device and its benefits. She found Terry eager to learn about the pump and how to use it.

“Terry was very positive about trying compression therapy and wished to be proactive in helping to reduce his swelling,” Leslie reports. “He believed that with less swelling, he would be able to do more activities with his wife and not have to worry about his legs.”

Terry was impressed by the compression therapist as well.

“She was very personable and had a thorough understanding of my situation after speaking with my doctor,” he states. “She set up the compression pump, then fully explained the treatment and what it entails.”

Terry committed to treatment with the compression pump, and he understands what it means to be dedicated. Seven years ago, he retired from UPS® after 37 years of service, first as a driver, then as a manager. But Terry didn’t remain idle in his retirement. Instead, he got a job working 20 hours a week as a greenskeeper at the Tiburón® Golf Club in Naples.

“Right out of high school, I went to work part time for UPS while I went to college,” Terry recalls. “Once I finished school, I started working for them full time. I was very active, that’s for sure. I drove, then went into management. It was hard work, but very worthwhile. It took care of me and my family over the years.”

Terry was still young when he retired from UPS, so he was eager to begin a new chapter in his work life. He soon discovered that the physical duties of a greenskeeper and the laid-back atmosphere of the golf course suited him perfectly.

“Usually, we start our days between 5 and 5:30 in the morning, when it’s nice and quiet,” Terry relates. “It’s typically a very relaxing time. I like being part of a team that provides a good golf course for the club’s members, as well as the public.”

Sequential Release

Acute Wound Care’s easy-to-use compression pumps are designed to remove the fluid that has accumulated in the patient’s legs or arms.

“The pump’s limb-sized sleeves gently massage the limb, draining any excess fluid back into the body’s circulatory system so it can be naturally eliminated,” explains Alyssa Parker, certified compression therapist with Acute Wound Care. “This alleviates swelling and many painful symptoms.

“The pumps are highly effective and noninvasive, and for the legs, they are much easier to use than compression stockings. Patients generally use the pump twice a day for 45 minutes, usually in the morning and in the evening. While using the pump, patients simply sit back with their limbs raised to further assist with decreasing swelling.”

The sleeves of the compression pump contain multiple chambers. During treatment, each chamber fills up with air. Then, each chamber releases, and the pattern repeats in a rhythmic fashion, forcing any excess fluid out of the limbs.

The safe and painless pumps not only reduce fluid retention in the limbs, they also improve overall blood flow.

“The pump boosts circulation by contracting the leg muscles, assisting blood flow back toward the heart,” Alyssa notes. “Results are often apparent immediately. Many patients see a noticeable difference in the swelling and in the size of their limbs after their first 45-minute pumping session.”

The compression pumps can also be used for patients with chronic wounds and non-healing ulcers, which can occur in people with venous insufficiency. The pumps assist in the wound healing process by circulating the healing factors in the blood.

“The pump’s sleeves are reusable and can be washed off with a damp cloth,” Alyssa describes. “If patients have open wounds, they can use the pumps, as long as the wounds are covered.”

Acute Wound Care is proud of its hands-on approach to patient care. Not only does a compression therapist go to each patient’s home to set up the equipment and instruct them on how to use it, they also adjust the pump’s pressure level to the patient’s comfort.

“When we are in the patient’s home, we set the pressure based on the severity of the condition and the physician’s prescription,” states Alyssa. “We then adjust the pump so the patients are comfortable and will actually meet the requirements of the treatment, so they get great results.”

“Tremendous Difference”

Terry has been faithfully using his compression pump since July and has noticed significant changes in his legs.

“I usually do two one-hour sessions per day with the compression pump, and that makes a tremendous difference in the way my legs feel,” he describes. “There are no more aches, no more pain in my knees and none of that heavy feeling in my legs that typically accompanied the swelling.

“There was definitely some compression after the first time I used the pump, but it’s gotten even more noticeable. Now, the results after each session last a lot longer. I’ve been pretty religious about using the compression pump, and my wife says now my legs look like they did when I was 20, 30 years younger.”

Treatment with a compression pump from Acute Wound Care has had a positive effect on Terry. He’s happy to comply with his treatment plan.

“I think the compression pump is a very worthwhile therapy for lymphedema,” Terry says. “You do have to invest some time in the treatment. I try to use the pump earlier in the day and then later in the evening, but I have to wait at least two hours in between.

“Using the pump, my swelling has gone down quite a bit. It’s very noticeable. If you consider what my legs looked like before and what they look like now, there’s a huge difference.”

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    • Acute Wound Care

      Acute Wound Care is conveniently located in the heart of Bonita Springs and has been serving wound care, lymphedema and venous insufficiency patients in the Southwestern part of Florida for many years. Their team has more than 25 years of exper... Read More