Disclosure: I received one free CompreFLEX Lite to review on The Lymphie Life. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions expressed here are my own honest impressions of the product!
Compression is arguably one of the most important parts of lymphedema treatment, but finding the right kind of compression is often a process of trial-and-error: do you go with flat-knit or circular-knit garments? Closed-toe or open? Knee-high or thigh-high? And what about short-stretch bandages?!
For me, I’ve always worn flat-knit compression on my affected limb — I’ve probably tried nearly every variety and style, it seems! It was time to broaden my compression horizons and check out something different: the CompreFLEX Lite.
The CompreFLEX Lite is a short-stretch garment designed for the lower extremity that provides 30-40 mmHg of graduated compression. Manufactured by BiaCare, its patented Breath-O-Prene® textile makes the garment breathable and conform comfortably to the body’s shape.
Combined with its stretch panel, the CompreFLEX Lite can easily accommodate and support most swelling. One of the coolest things about the CompreFLEX Lite is that it’s highly customizable to the wearer’s needs via its adjustable straps — there’s even strap extenders available to add 10 centimeters of additional circumferential size for those with more volume.
The CompreFLEX Lite also comes with premium underliners, which add a layer of protection between the skin and the CompreFLEX wrap. These underliners are infused with ionized silver to prevent bacterial growth and are made with Drirelease® technology to wick away moisture and prevent odor. The underliners offer 10-15 mmHg of compression and accommodate calves with a circumference of up to 33.5 inches.
Latex-free, machine washable and dryable, and easy-to-wear — you can see why the CompreFLEX Lite is a favorite among many lymphedema patients!
Take a look at how it works:
When I received the CompreFLEX Lite, I was intrigued: I had never worn a short-stretch garment before, and the idea of an adjustable garment was super appealing.
I pulled on the underliner first, in lieu of my regular flat-knit compression stocking. The liner was comfortable, with flat seams and a cushioned heel and toe; it felt durable yet soft, kind of like a thicker dress sock. With the liner in place, I then slid on the CompreFLEX Lite, positioned the stretch panel to the front, and secured the straps. (It’s important to start from the bottom up when securing the straps, and they should overlap one another a little for that graduated compression goodness!)
At first, I really liked it — it was snug but comfy! After a few hours, though, my leg began to hurt: the concentrated compression from the underliner and the CompreFLEX had almost a tourniquet effect on my lower leg, exacerbating my swelling above and below the garment; when I took it off, there were deep indentations on my leg from the underliner. Yikes!
Because the CompreFLEX Lite is below-the-knee, the rest of my affected leg was left uncompressed. I’m so accustomed to wearing a thigh-high flat-knit that, without any compression, my thigh felt uncomfortably heavy and dense.
I wanted to give it another go, so a few days later I put on the CompreFLEX Lite again, except this time I skipped the liner altogether and pulled the short-stretch wrap over my regular garment instead. This, unfortunately, wasn’t much more comfortable. It did fit under my regular jeans without much added bulk, though, which is a definite plus!
Click the photos to enlarge:
My bottom line? As it turns out, the CompreFLEX Lite was not a good match for me. I wear my flat-knit stockings fairly consistently, so any change in compression — be it the type, amount, or the area being compressed — can really take a noticeable toll. For my particular swelling I prefer the full coverage of my regular stockings, but that doesn’t mean this garment isn’t effective for other lymphies!
The CompreFLEX Lite is a well-made, quality product. It’s a great option for those who have trouble getting flat-knit stockings on; for that reason alone it could improve compliance and comfort for many patients. I think this product is ideal for people in the reduction stage of their lymphedema treatment, as it can be adjusted as needed throughout the day to accommodate any changes in volume. In fact, its adjustability is one of the things I like most about this product!
With so many options out there, it can take a couple tries to figure out which style of compression works best for you and your lymphedema. And remember: what works for one person may not work for you, and vice versa. As with anything regarding your lymphedema treatment, it’s important to chat with your lymphedema therapist or fitter about your options as to what would be an appropriate garment for you!
Exclusive Offer for Lymphie Life Readers
Interested in the CompreFLEX Lite? Purchase one through North American Rehab and enter coupon code STAYELEVATED at checkout to receive 10% off your order!