Compression stockings/ Lymph and lipedema

Come in and feel good

Caring for breast cancer patients in a medical retail store

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin

In short Susanne Hahn knows: “Following breast surgery, patients need attention and an atmosphere they can feel comfortable in.” That is why at Hellbach medical supply retailer in Amberg, which specializes in lymphology products, she not only offers comprehensive advice but also an interior design with boutique charm. When treating lipedema and lymphedema, she has obtained excellent results with the VenoTrain curaflow – as an arm sleeve as well as using the thorax product. Benefits provided by VenoTrain curaflow compression products with their excellent microfiber content include:

  • breathable material,
  • soft wearing sensation on the skin and
  • an individual custom-made fit.
Every day, around ten patients visit the medical retailer, which received the Lymphology Seal in 2021, for advice about lymphology products.

Brustkrebsversorgung

Professionalism and a welcoming ambiance with boutique charm create an atmosphere of well-being at the Hellbach medical retail store. With their compassionate nature, the experts in lymphology products in Amberg, Upper Palatinate, Germany, are the first port of call for breast cancer patients in particular, and often support their customers over many years.

Susanne Hahn is the managing director at the Hellbach medical retail store in Amberg, and an “ardent fan of Scandinavia”. This is reflected in the modern, attractive design of the sales floor.

They are called Poppy Seed, Buttercup, Peony. Light parquet flooring, the pastel-colored interior, Scandinavian decor and not least the coffee machine make visitors feel welcome. Gentle music emphasizes the ambiance: in the discreet booths of Hellbach medical supply retailer, which has specialized in lymphology products among other things, customers feel at home straight away. As does Manuela Horn.

Today, she is trying on her custom-made VenoTrain curaflow arm sleeve and glove. Susanne Hahn, Managing Director of the medical supply retailer, measured her a week earlier. They looked through the range of colors together and chose classic black. The VenoTrain curaflow now fits Manuela Horn’s arm snugly. Satisfied, Susanne Hahn straightens out the compression stocking, then turns her attention to the fingers: “It should be positioned right in the center of the nail, and not be too short, to prevent inflammation of the nail bed.” With a smile on her face, she asks: “How does it feel?”

Encouraging: patients as models

Even though Manuela Horn’s breast cancer dates back years, the VenoTrain curaflow is her first compression garment. In spring 2013, she felt a lump in her breast. In the subsequent surgery, her entire right breast, including fasciae, was removed. For the lymphatic system, this procedure means a disturbance of the natural flow paths because of the necessary removal of lymph nodes. More than five percent of all women are affected by swelling in the arms and hands after anti-cancer surgery, as a result of this damage to the lymphatic system – which often appears many years later. This is referred to as breast cancer-related lymphedema in the arm. In Manuela Horn, it developed eight years after her mastectomy.

Susanne Hahn is carefully measuring the patient’s arm. When measuring with a tight tape measure, her rule of thumb is the following: the smaller the limbs, the lower the tension.

Right after surgery, the shock of what she had just experienced was still so fresh that the mother of two shied away from visiting a medical supply retailer for a long time. Today, however, the attractive 52-year-old confidently models in the fashion shows of the Hellbach medical retail store. She wants to encourage other patients in this way, too. The events where patients present products are part of the medical retailer’s feel-good concept that reflects the loving character of Susanne Hahn. Together with her husband, Matthias, she has been running the store since 2018. Her customers receive high-quality medical aids and can rely on professional advice. But they can also browse attractive lingerie and decorative items. Susanne Hahn is convinced that, “after being diagnosed with breast cancer in particular, customers look for something beautiful and spiritual.”

Lymphology Seal for high-quality care

In summer 2021, the Hellbach medical retail store was awarded the “Lymphology Seal” after an independent auditing process was carried out, confirming the quality-assured, networked care of patients suffering from lymphatic problems. “The requirements were complex,” Susanne Hahn remembers, “even though we’ve always dealt with most things in this way.” The seal, which has to be recertified regularly, requires a lymphology network of physicians and physical therapists, comprehensive records and logs, individual information folders, and much more. After six hours of auditing, the Amberg-born medical retailer received the certificate – and has been pleased with her even greater popularity ever since: “Every day, we take care of around ten patients with lipedema or lymphedema.” Among them are many breast cancer patients who she has already met in the hospital when presenting an external breast prosthesis. Together, they look for the appropriate bra in the medical retail store – and sometimes, arm lymphedema has to be treated as well. Products for the whole upper body are needed less frequently. Thorax products are requested only about twice a year. They are quite complex to measure and make. Whether thorax or arm – the correct fit is absolutely essential for compression products.

Medical supply retailer with a feel-good character: the inviting ambiance, specialist knowledge and the staff’s welcoming attitude help customers overcome their fear of visiting a medical retailer.

For any type of product, Susanne Hahn plans 45 minutes for the initial consultation, during which she asks about everything from heart disease and high blood pressure to allergies. She explains the benefits of flat-knit garments and also checks the patient’s fingers, which are also often swollen and need gloves. “I also noticed that with Manuela.” The recovered breast cancer patient has been getting her bras and prosthetic products from Hellbach for years, which is how she started modeling. How fortunate: because when trying on an arm sleeve for the presentation, Susanne Hahn noticed a swelling on Manuela and sent her to see a physician.

So, what is her first impression of the arm sleeve? “It fits perfectly and feels really comfortable.” Susanne Hahn hears that a lot. She knows: “Thanks to the microfiber, the VenoTrain curaflow feels so cozy on the skin. Plus, the fine fibers absorb moisture and remove it from the skin, which reduces uncomfortable sweating.” Before Manuela Horn says good-bye, she receives some skin care foam for daily use as well as the advice that she should wear her compression products for some hours a day first, then slowly increase this time. Her check-up appointment is in two weeks. But she is happy to return as she says: “Hellbach is the gold standard for me!”

Edema treatment with a high degree of wearing comfort

In addition to stockings, the VenoTrain curaflow compression product is also available for targeted arm edema treatment. It relieves painful tension, supports the removal of fluid from the tissue and prevents further accumulations and hardening. The arm sleeve is easy to put on thanks to the flat-knit material and the made-to-measure fit. The VenoTrain curaflow’s breathable design and high microfiber content make it feel pleasantly soft against the skin. Additional functional zones, for example in the elbow area, as well as flat seams prevent chafing and constriction and guarantee a high degree of wearing comfort. The VenoTrain curaflow is available as a custom-made solution to suit individual needs: from gloves to the entire arm, with different types of edging. VenoTrain curaflow is also offered as a thorax product to support targeted edema treatment. Further information as well as training films about measuring and putting on the arm sleeves can be found at www.bauerfeind-group.com/venotrain-curaflow-hand

Images: Conny Kurz

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