Sharon Berenfeld MD

Nashville, TN

I developed a DVT in my right leg during chemo for lymphoma in 1998. Age 37. In 2017, I had an unprovoked recurrence of the DVT. The clot was from ankle to groin both times. Since 2017, I have developed lymphedema as a result of 2 DVTs. I now have pretty significant swelling of the entire right leg, and some swelling even in the pelvic area and abdomen. It always feels very heavy and sometimes is quite painful. I was surprised that the compression wraps and all that goes with those (cotton batting, surgical tape, etc) and compression garments are NOT COVERED BY INSURANCE. I have medicare/disability, unfortunately. And, these items need to be replaced approximately every six.months because, by nature of the material, they do stretch out and lose their adequate compression capability. These garments are CRITICAL in maintaining the health of my right leg. I had to start lymphedema treatment because the fluid backup was beginning to cause tightness in my calf as well as the pain.

Compression garments are needed to do several things. 1. minimize lymph accumulation and maintain that; 2. decrease pain and heaviness And the most important thing is; 3. minimize the RISK of COMPLICATIONS like tissue breakdown, infection, and even sepsis. Healthcare should strive to ensure life-saving and expensive complications do not occur, with the treatments and preventative measures that compression gear provides. Compression garments, compression wraps, tape, cotton batting, etc are critical for the care of lymphedema and PREVENTION OF COMPLICATIONS. Preventing expensive, life-threatening complications is so very important. These items MUST BE PAID FOR BY HEALTH INSURANCE. My compression garment cost well over $150. The wraps and other necessities cost over $100 -- each time I purchase. In the long run, isn't it less expensive to prevent serious medical complications?

Thank you for your time and consideration.