FAQ Navigation

aria system

  • Will the aria system work with voltages in other countries?

    Yes! We designed aria to go wherever you go, so we’ve included a universal power supply that works with voltage standards across the globe. However, you’ll want to make sure you have the power-plug adapter that’s appropriate for the region in which you’ll be traveling. If you find you’ve forgotten yours and you’re staying at a hotel, be sure to check with the front desk—they frequently have adapters available for use.

  • Can I take my aria system onto an airplane?

    On many airlines, medical devices don’t count toward carry-on luggage limits. And soon, you can use your aria system on a plane. As soon as we get the go-ahead from the regulating agency, you can download an air travel compliance letter from this site, and then take aria to go.

  • I’m having difficulty putting on my garment. Do you have any tips?

    We do! We recommend two different positions for donning the garment. Use the one that is most comfortable for you.

    Standing (or the stocking method)

    • Before attempting to put on the garment, loosely fasten all the garment tabs. When you’re done, the garment will look like a stocking.
    • Slide your leg into the garment as though you were putting on a stocking.
    • Once your foot is at the end of the garment, adjust the tabs to get a tight fit. We recommend working from bottom to top.

    Lying down (or the wrap method)

    • Unfasten the garment tabs and lay the garment out flat where you can lie down.
    • Place your leg on top of the garment.
    • Next, place your foot into the garment foot piece. Wrap the garment piece that has no tabs over the top of your leg, and tuck it under your leg to keep it in place.
    • Secure the garment by fastening the tabs. We recommend working from bottom to top.
  • I’m having some problems with my aria system. How do I troubleshoot?

    Sorry to hear that! Please consult the Troubleshooting section of your user guide. A digital copy can be found here. There, you’ll find a list of potential problems and remedies. If you’re still having trouble, please call customer support at 866-647-0691. We’ll be happy to assist you.

exercise and physical activity

  • How can I stay active if I have lymphedema?

    With lymphedema, it’s not just important to keep up with your regular daily activities and continue to use your affected limb, but you’ll also want to exercise regularly. The best way to approach any exercise plan is to start gently and gradually increase the intensity. Excessive swelling may make some exercises too challenging, so you may need to wait until the swelling has gone down. And you’ll want to be careful to avoid pulling any muscles as this can further exacerbate swelling. Additionally, take care with any exercise where the skin can be broken—like rowing, for example—as this can elevate the risk of infection.

  • Is exercise good for people with lymphedema?

    Exercise can be beneficial for those with lymphedema, as it increases the flow of lymph fluid and reduces swelling. Gentle stretching and walking are great options, and for some people, rebounding may be helpful. Rebounding, though, is a vigorous form of exercise and it may not be ideal for everyone—particularly older individuals. Before beginning any kind of exercise regimen, contact your healthcare provider who can advise you on the best way to proceed.

  • What should I do if I’m new to exercise?

    First, ask your healthcare provider for recommendations on how to get started. If you have never exercised, or if it’s been a while, you will want to start slowly and gradually ramp up. You can also try different kinds of exercise to see what works for you. Many people enjoy walking and swimming, and find the stretching, strengthening, and breathing of gentle yoga classes to be beneficial.

  • What should I look out for during and after exercise?

    Because everyone responds differently to exercise, you’ll want to take note of any swelling and watch to see if it increases after you exercise. If you feel uncomfortable during exercise, or notice any breathing difficulties, you should stop exercising immediately and contact your healthcare provider. In case of emergency, call 911.

  • What are the best forms of exercise if I have lymphedema in my legs?

    To help with the accumulation of lymph fluid in the legs, consider hip flexion and hip abduction exercises, knee extensions, ankle pumps, ankle circles, and toe scrunches. Based on your level of fitness and how your body responds to exercise, your lymphedema specialist can recommend specific exercises that may be beneficial.

  • How do breathing exercises help people with lymphedema?

    Unlike blood, lymph fluid does not circulate on its own. But diaphragmatic breathing facilitates the flow of lymph fluid. This form of exercise helps boost lymph circulation and can improve the overall vitality of the lymphatic system.

  • How do I perform diaphragmatic breathing exercises?

    Deeply inhale through your nose. By keeping your chest still and concentrating on filling your abdomen with air, you will activate diaphragmatic breathing. Then, as you exhale through your mouth, use your stomach like a bellows to push the air out. You can speak to your healthcare provider for more information on diaphragmatic breathing.

  • Do I need to wear a compression garment during exercise?

    It is important that you do so, as your compression garment will act against the muscles, making the exercises more effective in moving the lymphatic fluid. Additionally, the pressure from the garment will help keep the lymph from collecting in areas that are already swollen. Compression garments are not necessary if you are swimming and the affected limb is submerged in water, as the pressure of the water will provide compression on the limb.

skin care

  • Why is it important to care for my skin if I have lymphedema?

    Those with lymphedema are at risk of a skin infection called cellulitis. Any break in the skin increases the likelihood of bacteria entering and causing an infection. It’s therefore important to care for the skin and protect against injury. The skin may also be dry and itchy, and scratching can cause breaks in the skin.

  • What can I do to keep my skin healthy?

    Typically, you can use any hypoallergenic fragrance-free moisturizer. Those with dry skin or other skin problems can discuss the best skin care product options with a healthcare provider.

  • Are there any temperatures I should avoid?

    It is best to avoid both extreme heat and extreme cold, as they can make swelling worse.

  • How should I handle sun exposure?

    Sun exposure can elevate skin temperature and cause blood vessels to dilate, resulting in increased swelling. It is important, therefore, to always protect the skin from the sun. Wearing light, comfortable clothing and using a good quality sunscreen can help prevent damage to the skin.

  • Are there basic skin care guidelines that I should follow?
    • Wash your skin daily with warm (not hot) water.
    • Dry your skin completely after washing, making sure to pat the skin gently instead of wiping or rubbing.
    • Take extra care to dry the skin between your fingers and toes.
    • Moisturize your skin at least once a day.
    • Avoid prolonged sun exposure, and when you are in the sun, be sure to wear sunscreen and cover the area with loose clothing.
    • Do not wear tight clothing or jewelry.
  • What should I do about cuts, bites, and burns?

    In general, try to avoid situations where you are likely to damage your skin. Wear sunscreen, insect repellent, and protective clothing when outdoors or hiking, and take care with cooking or baking. If you do get a cut, burn, or bite, clean the area immediately with water, and apply an antibiotic ointment and a bandage or dressing. Consult your healthcare provider if the area does not seem to be healing, or if you notice any signs of infection.

  • How do I know if I have an infection?

    You may notice an area is painful, red, and warm. There may also be more swelling than usual. An elevation in temperature, flu-like symptoms, or red streaks going up or down from a cut or break in the skin all may be signs of an infection, and you should contact a doctor immediately.

  • What should I do if I think I have an infection?

    If you notice any symptoms of infection or suspect you may have an infection, contact your healthcare provider right away.

  • What is cellulitis?

    Cellulitis is an infection of the skin. It can result from a burn, bite, or break in the skin, or may arise without any known injury. Symptoms of cellulitis may include increased swelling, redness, tenderness, and warmth in the area, which may also be accompanied by flu-like symptoms, nausea, or vomiting. It is important to contact a healthcare provider right away, as cellulitis requires treatment with antibiotics.

  • How can I know if I have cellulitis?

    Though not everyone will have the same symptoms, you may feel as though you are coming down with the flu. You may have a fever, chills, nausea, aches and pains, and a rash that will develop on the swollen area of the body. You may observe increased swelling, redness, tenderness, and warmth in the area. And depending on the affected limb, there may also be some involvement in the groin or the armpit.

  • What should I do if I suspect I have cellulitis?

    Contact your healthcare provider right away.

lifestyle

  • Can I drink alcohol or smoke tobacco?

    It’s a good idea to avoid both. Drinking alcohol is not a nutritionally sound use of calories, but beyond that, it causes vasodilation of the blood vessels and increased flow of lymph. This is not handled well by an impaired lymphatic system, and so additional swelling will result. If you do drink alcohol, monitor the swelling in your affected limb. Smoking, of course, carries many health risks, and narrows the blood vessels, preventing fluids from properly flowing out of the affected limb.

  • Why is it important to be at an ideal weight for my body type?

    Being overweight can actually increase the risk of lymphedema. And in individuals with lymphedema, any extra weight increases the work the lymphatic system has to do. Successfully managing lymphedema means working to maintain a healthy diet and a healthy weight. Certain foods may increase swelling, and sodium can cause excess water retention. If you notice swelling after you eat, keep a food diary to see if you can determine which food may be causing the swelling.

  • What should I do about my treatment when traveling?

    While traveling, you’ll want to take the same care you do at home to avoid insect bites, sunburn, injuries, and excessive temperatures. It’s also important to continue with your therapy routine in order to best manage your lymphedema. Traveling poses particular challenges, and that is why we are excited about offering a highly portable pump.

  • I will be traveling to a location that requires vaccinations. Can I get them?

    It’s important to consult your doctor before getting any vaccinations. If you are approved for the shots, do not get them in any limb that is affected by lymphedema.

  • How should I manage lymphedema when I am traveling by air?

    It’s important for those traveling by air to wear loose-fitting clothing and a compression garment on the affected limb. Because it’s helpful to get up and move around when possible, you may wish to book an aisle seat. Gentle stretching exercises can be beneficial, and your healthcare provider may be able to recommend a set of exercises. A vascular specialist may be able to tell you whether or not a compression garment would be necessary on any unaffected limb.

  • What should I do if I am traveling a long distance by car?

    Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, and plan to take breaks regularly. Where safe, get out of the car, stretch, and walk around some. Your healthcare provider may have additional guidance.

  • I enjoy spending time at the beach. Is there anything I should consider?

    If you have lymphedema of the leg, you should not walk barefoot on the beach, as doing so increases the risk of cutting your foot, which can lead to a serious infection. If you go swimming, be sure to shower afterward and dry yourself completely, paying special attention to the skin between your toes. Once you are out of the water, you’ll want to put your compression garment back on.

  • Can I keep up my daily activities if I have lymphedema?

    Yes. It’s important that you try to keep a daily routine, while taking necessary precautions to prevent injury or infection. Movement and exercise are especially important.

  • How should I shave my legs?

    There are differing opinions on shaving. Most people recommend using an electric shaver to eliminate the risk of nicks and cuts. Chemical depilatories and waxing may damage skin that is already fragile, and so those methods of hair removal are not recommended.

  • How should I take care of my nails?

    When caring for fingernails and toenails, it’s important to keep the risk of infection to a minimum. Therefore, be careful when trimming your nails so as to avoid cutting your skin or clipping the nails too short. You’ll also want to keep your fingernails clean. A soft nailbrush will work to clean under your nails.

  • What should I do if I am gardening or working outdoors?

    Protect against cuts, infection, bites, and sun exposure if you are going to be gardening or working outside. Wear insect repellent and sunscreen. A hat and loose-fitting clothes will also protect your skin and help keep you from getting overheated. A good pair of gardening gloves will protect your hands when working with soil or thorny plants, and long pants can protect your legs from scratches and other injuries. Also consider wearing comfortable shoes and avoid standing for long periods of time.

  • What should I do about showering or taking a bath?

    Besides carrying the risk of burning or damaging your skin, hot water causes vasodilation of the blood vessels. Therefore, you will want to avoid showering or bathing in extremely hot water. It is recommended that you keep the water temperature below 102° F (38.9° C), and your time under 15 minutes. Hypoallergenic soaps can also help prevent irritation of the skin. After showering or bathing, be sure to dry your skin completely, patting the skin gently instead of rubbing, and taking extra care to dry the skin between the toes.

  • What kind of clothing should I wear?

    Choose comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. Avoid anything that is tight or doesn’t allow you to move freely. This includes socks, stockings, and underwear.

  • What should I do if I have to be on my feet for extended periods of time?

    It’s a good idea to always try to wear comfortable shoes, particularly if you will be standing for a long time. If you can, perform heel raises, as that will help activate your calf muscles. You can also shift your weight from side to side and from heel to toe. If you are able to, try to do some walking and moving around—even a little bit. Additionally, make sure you wear your compression garment as recommended by your healthcare provider.

  • How should I position myself on a regular basis?

    This depends on where you have lymphedema, as it’s important to position yourself in such a way that the lymph can drain. So, if your arm is affected, keep it comfortably elevated (ensuring that it stays below shoulder-height) by resting it on a pillow. If your leg is affected, you’ll either want to recline with your legs up, or sit with your leg up on a chair or ottoman, ensuring that you are supporting your knee with a cushion or pillow. And avoid sitting with your legs crossed. Finally, if you have lymphedema in your head/neck, you should sleep with your head elevated to help the fluid drain. You can do this either by sleeping with a foam wedge or a special pillow, or by elevating the head of the bed. In any case, you should avoid being stationary for long periods of time. It’s a good idea to get up and move around at least once an hour if you are able to do so.

compression garments

  • Why should I use a compression garment?

    Compression garments can help prevent lymphedema from getting worse. Speak to your healthcare provider to see what the best treatment is for you.

  • How does it feel to wear a compression garment?

    Compression garments should be comfortable and provide firm support. You should be able to move as you usually do, and the garments should not cause you to feel any tingling, pain, or numbness. If you do find that your garment is uncomfortable, speak to your healthcare provider who may have a recommendation for you.

  • How often will I need to replace my compression garment?

    Most compression garments will need to be replaced every 4–6 months, as they lose their effectiveness over time. As they wear out, they may provide uneven support which is not optimal.

  • How should I clean my compression garment?

    Because regular cleaning of your garment is important for preventing infection, and proper care will increase your garment’s longevity, you should consult the care instructions for your particular garment. Overall, avoid harsh detergents and bleach, as they can damage the materials and affect the compression properties.

  • Can I wear the same compression garment during both day and night?

    Increased activity during the day calls for stronger compression. If night compression is necessary, bandaging can be used, or a nighttime-specific garment may be recommended by your healthcare provider.

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