Thursday, August 29, 2013

What is the Difference Between Ready-Wear and Custom Compression Garments?

After a lymphedema diagnosis, it is imperative that you get measured by a certified compression garment fitter. Although there are compression garment shops who claim that they can fit you for a garment, be sure that the fitter has the specialized training necessary to fit you properly in the appropriate garment. Ill fitting garments can cause major setbacks in your progress towards maintaining the condition.

One major difference between ready-wear and custom compression garments is that ready-wear, or off the shelf garments, are made of lesser quality materials which include lycra or rubber. Custom compression garments use silicone and silk offering more comfort while wearing the garments.

Since ready-wear garments are available over the counter, they are tend to be less expensive, easier to replace and quicker to purchase. They are seamless and are available in a variety of lengths, compression classes and sizes, however, they may not provide enough support for your affected limbs and are not as precise in fit as a custom made garment. They also have a tendency to roll at the top of the garment.

With custom made compression garments, precise measurements are taken to ensure that your garment fits properly throughout your whole limb. They are generally made from thicker but more breathable materials. And offer better containment of the swelling than ready-wear garments. These garments can be made to accommodate any shape which is particularly helpful if a client has a disproportionate limb.

Custom made compression garments are are available in all four compression classes and can be combined with a custom toe cap if necessary. With custom compression garments, pads for extra support can be stitched into the garment as well.

The heavier knit materials provide greater stiffness resulting in greater resistance and better containment of the swelling than ready-made garments (so-called stiffness factor).

To schedule your free consultation with our BOC/ABC certified garment fitter, call 713-623-4247. Kristen can answer any questions you have about compression garments and assist you in maintaining your lymphedema.

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