Doctors use compression to treat various conditions, including foot
swelling, mild edema, varicose veins, thrombosis, varicosities of
varying severities, and circulation problems from diabetes. Geriatric
patients, those with diabetes, lymphedema and post-surgery patients often
depend on compression therapy.
Compression garments, such as socks, stockings and wraps, deliver
support and increased circulation to affected limbs and other areas of the
body. Compression is graded in millimeters of mercury and can range from
15-50 mmHg; the higher the compression, the tighter the garment.
Lighter compression products start out at 15-20 mmHg, which are for
tired, achy legs, mild edema, varicose veins and foot swelling. This level of
pressure can also help to prevent vein thrombosis. Higher levels of pressure
such as 20-30 mmHg is for severe varicosities, for open face ulcers,
moderate edema and post surgery. For people who have ulcers, lymphatic
edema and varicosities, they typically need 30-40 mmHg.
HME providers often face fitting and non-compliance issues when it
comes to patients. Compression garments are very tight, and for some
patients, this can cause problems that lead to non-compliance. The
garments also can be difficult to take on and off, and many patients have
reach or strength issues.
Still, compression products are a key offering for HME providers looking
to drive increased retail revenue, because it is a category not typically
covered by Medicare, except in a few cases, such as lymphedema patients.
Here are some of the latest offerings on the market: