Frequently Asked Questions

Lymphedema is a chronic lymphatic disease that results in disfiguring swelling in one or more parts of the body. It can be hereditary (Primary Lymphedema) or it can occur after a surgical procedure, infection, radiation or other physical trauma (Secondary Lymphedema). In breast cancer, for example, it can appear in the arm on the same side as the cancer, after lymph nodes are removed from the armpit region for cancer staging. Primary Lymphedema often occurs in the lower extremities. Lymph is the protein-rich body fluid that accumulates when the lymphatic system for fluid transport is damaged.

Arteries bring oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body and veins return oxygen-poor blood back to your heart. When your leg veins cannot pump enough blood back to your heart, you have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) also known as chronic venous disease (CVD).

Bio Compression Systems, Inc., has been the leading manufacturer of compression therapy equipment for over 30 years.

They manufacture Sequential Circulators and Gradient Sequential Pneumatic Compression Devices for the treatment of Lymphedema, Venous and Arterial Insufficiency and Wound Healing which includes a wide range of garments in sizes and styles applicable to virtually every anatomical area in need of edema reduction, increased circulation and promotion of enhanced wound healing.


Bio Compression is the only manufacturer to offer custom garments of various length and widths that can be designed and delivered within one weeks time. All such garments are totally compatible with our Model SC-2004-OC, SC-2004FC-OC, SC-2004, SC-2008-OC, SC-2008, SC-3004-DL, SC-3004, SC-3008-DL and SC-3008-T gradient sequential pumps.


Fluid transport is one very important component, but many do not realize that the lymphatic system is part of the immune system. It fulfills the function of “immune trafficking,” the process whereby infection-fighting cells can be mobilized to the tissues that require assistance. When the lymphatic system is compromised by surgery, trauma, or improper development, the affected part of the body is prone to recurrent infection because of the faulty surveillance mechanism.

Sequential pumps with calibrated gradient pressure have proven to be the best devices for reducing the amount of excess lymphatic fluid in a limb in a comfortable and efficient manner. These pumps function in much the same manner as the body does when it utilizes its own “muscle pump.” The body uses various muscle groups to move the lymphatic fluid through the channels.

Suggested protocols have been provided with your pump. Follow these suggestions unless otherwise directed by your physician or therapist. Never increase the pressure unless told to do so by your physician or therapist. Should you reach a plateau in your treatment and feel as though you are not achieving further reduction, decrease the pressure and monitor your progress. It is possible that you may be using too much pressure.

The suggested protocols provided with your pump are designed to help you gain the maximum benefit from your therapy. Again, you should follow these instructions unless otherwise directed by your physician or therapist. In some severe cases the physician and/or therapist may deviate from the provided protocols based on your condition.

Some pregnant women will develop lymphedema lasting the entire term of their pregnancy, but which disappears when the baby is born. However, others can continue to have a problem with edema even after delivery. The patient should wear compression pantyhose and elevate their limbs as often as possible. Using a pump during pregnancy presents no adverse effects. The pressures for the pump are set according to the protocols used for primary lymphedema.

A patient with an active DVT is not an appropriate candidate for a compression pump. However, if the patient has had a DVT and it is resolved, they are a candidate for a compression pump. DVTs are often prevented with the use of compression therapy. It is always a good idea to make the physician aware that an active DVT is a contraindication. Request a copy of the last Doppler (within six months) for your records.


There has also been some question about using compression therapy with patients who have a history of DVTs and who have filters. These patients are also candidates for compression therapy, with the same conditions as stated above and with lower compression used during therapy. The only difference would be the physician will generally use less compression for treatment. Teach the patient the signs and symptoms of an active DVT. If it hurts, something is wrong. Stop and contact your physician.


Yes, a patient can use a pump over a multi-layer bandage system.