3D Compression Bandages for Lymphedema

Investigators: Dr. K. P. Chellamani and Mr. M. K. Vittopa

Summary

Lymphedema is a swelling in the soft tissues of the limbs, or less often the trunk, caused by the buildup of lymph fluid. This can occur in two ways,

  • Primary Lymphedema, a rare genetic condition which children may be born with, may become evident in their teens (lymphedema praecox) or in adulthood (lymphedema tarda).
  • Secondary Lymphedema, which is due to damage to the lymphatic system as a result of trauma. Lymphedema results from mechanical insufficiency in which both water and proteins accumulate. Therefore, the lymphatic system cannot remove even normal amounts of lymph from the tissues. When the lymphatic system is damaged beyond repair, persistent lymphedema becomes a chronic condition.

            Depending on the severity of the lymphedema, the recommended treatment planshould be determined using an approach based on the Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy (CDP) methods which consist of: a) Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), b) Compression Bandaging System, c) Proper Skin Care & Diet, d) Compression Garments (sleeves and stockings) and f) Wound Care Management.

Major accomplishments

SITRA has developed 3D warp knitted spacer fabrics which can be used for compression therapy given to lymphedema patients. Two types of spacer fabrics were developed, one using sliver coated nylon filament yarns and the other one using texturised polyester filament yarns

SITRA 3D spacer fabrics satisfy the essential quality requirements for a compression bandage.  These quality attributes include, i) Crease Recovery, ii) Slippage Resistance, iii) Stretchability and iv) Skin Friendliness

The efficacy of the bandages developed by SITRA was evaluated by conducting clinical trials for about 100 patients selected by the doctors in 3 leading multi-specialty hospitals  Of this, two are situated in Chennai and one in Chengalpattu.

User trials have shown that, the duration of compression therapy required for lymphedema patients can be reduced considerably while using SITRA 3D compression bandage system.

Research Reports/Publications: Available at SITRA