Lymphoedema compression garments help to reduce and control lymphoedema by putting graduated pressure on the effected limb’s tissue to stop fluid build-up & encouraging lymphatic fluid to drain.

Lymphoedema (Swelling of the arm or leg) is the result of lymph build up due to damage to the lymphatic system. This is commonly caused by the removal of lymph nodes and radiotherapy – as seen in the management of breast cancer. Compression garments are worn on the affected limb to manage swelling and promote lymph drainage; there are therefor a variety of garments available for your arms, hands, legs and torso – please see section below on various types. Compression therapy, using a garment together with manual lymph drainage (MLD) are key methods in managing Lymphoedema.


Gradient compression garments are specially designed to help promote circulation and lymphatic flow in your limbs. Blood and lymph fluid must flow upward and towards the heart. Graduated compression assists this movement by applying a certain amount of pressure at the base (eg: your ankle or wrist) which gradually decreases in pressure as it moves up the limb. This design helps blood vessels and lymph vessels absorb fluids more easily, providing relief for tissues and reducing swelling. (Jobst, 2017)

Compression garments for Lymphedema are carefully engineered pieces of technology that work to support broken down lymphatic and venous systems, by imitating the body’s natural mechanics that normally support blood and lymphatic flow. They do this through a system called gradient compression (or graduated compression), where a carefully measured amount of pressure is applied to the limb in order to encourage the movement of fluids. The pressure is more the further it is away from your heart and less towards your heart. (See images below)

*Note: Graduated compression garments only work if they provide the correct graduated compression, it is therefor important to be correctly fitted by a trained orthotist & prosthetist at The M Store


Flat Knit Arm Sleeves

Flat knit garments are manufactured as a flat piece of fabric and then constructed and sewn into the desired shape. A thicker and stiffer fabric is used compared to a circular knit garment which makes flat knits  sturdier than circular knit garments. They are particularly suited to larger shapes & lymphoedema that has progressed.

Circular Knit Arm Sleeves

Circular knit garments are machine manufactured, as a long tube of fabric to produce a soft, stretchy and smooth fabric. These characteristics are appealing; however, the fabric lacks stiffness & rests in skin creases- in cases of more severe lymphoedema this can hinder lymph drainage. Benefits include, no seams & a variety of ready-to-wear ranges.

Compression Gloves (Gauntlets)

A gauntlet or glove should be used in conjunction with compression sleeves when used for lymphedema management where the hand and or fingers are involved. It is also recommended that a gauntlet is used for prevention. *Note: Various different styles are available

Nights Time Garments

The majority of Lymphoedema patients can benefit from practising compression at night. In particular, patients with ‘creeping refill’, as well as those who have tissue fibrosis, Hyperkeratosis (skin thickening) and/or fluctuations in their swelling.