Compression stockings·Lymph and lipedema

Improving quality of life

Lymphedema treatment in Canada

From Bauerfeind Life Magazin on 21.11.2023

In short In Canada, the journey to a medical supply retailer can be quite long. It is therefore important that a compression product is perfectly fitted to the specific lymphedema patient, and wearing comfort is high. The Galien Group is Bauerfeind’s exclusive sales partner in the world’s second biggest country. Galien shares Bauerfeind’s high quality standards when it comes to measuring, manufacturing, and fitting.

  • Canada has an extensive homecare market with patients having to take on a lot of responsibility for their own treatment and well-being because of the huge distances
  • Using the VenoTrain curaflow, practically any edema can be treated. The flat knit compression products are custom-made and can be adapted to any anatomical features.
  • The curaflow App supports patients suffering from lymphedema and lipedema during everyday life, promoting motivation for essential self-management.
  • A central issue for many patients is how to find experienced physicians and suppliers who attach great value to quality.
  • Sharing experiences and networking are important aspects of self-management; social networks really help here to increase general awareness of the condition.

For patients suffering from lymphedema in Canada, it is very important to have a good network for sharing personal experiences. After all, the journey to the nearest medical supply retailer can be quite long in the world’s second biggest country. Product Manager Tina Krahn and Michael Heguy from the Galien Group, Bauerfeind’s Canadian sales partner, are talking about their work there.

A country’s geography, too, can have an impact on treatment using compression stockings. In Canada, for example: four inhabitants per square kilometer in some areas, 230 in others. “A country with such a huge area is a challenge,” emphasizes Tina Krahn, Head of Bauerfeind’s Lymphology Product Management, “if you don’t live in a city, the journey to receive treatment can be very long. That means there is a large homecare market and the patients themselves have more responsibility because only in big cities are there focus centers, for example run by Bauerfeind.”
In spring, Tina Krahn took part in the Galien Group’s “Lymphedema Certification Program” in Laval, Quebec. Galien is Bauerfeind’s exclusive sales partner in Canada, both for circular knit and flat knit compression products as well as for supports and braces. And just like Bauerfeind, the Galien Group is also a family-run business aware of its heritage embracing quality, service, and innovation. Michael Heguy, President of the Galien Group, confirms their shared values: “Since being founded in 2008, Galien has considered itself its patients’ faithful companion. We want to provide the best care in a medical as well as a personal sense: that seems only natural to us as a supplier.”

Practical first-hand information

In addition to the flat knit VenoTrain curaflow compression products, the participants in the “Lymphedema Certification Program” were also able to find out more about the lympha-mat from medical technology manufacturer Bösl. This provided the participants with comprehensive information and practical demonstrations along the treatment chain. They also had an opportunity to ask the experts their own questions relating to the lymphatic drainage disorder. “The focus of our event was on the patients. We think it’s really important to integrate treatment using compression products into the patient’s everyday life,” explains Tina Krahn, “it’s all about enabling increased activity and mobility, noticeably improving quality of life and confidence in general.”

The central theme demonstrated with the help of participants was the measurement process. Using four women as examples, a lymphology expert showed how challenging the correct measurement process is and how important it is for wearing comfort as well as for the therapeutic effect of the products. “It’s our priority,” Tina Krahn emphasizes, “because it all comes down to the correct measurements. We exclusively treat patients with made-to-measure products. That’s why our comprehensive measurement training sessions are key.” Galien’s Michael Heguy adds: “Patients spend a lot of time with their ‘fitter’ and have in-depth conversations. In addition to the professional aspect of measuring, this is also a prominent personal component.”

The questions and experiences shared by the participants also highlighted the importance of good rapport. A lot of questions were about the following aspects: How do I find the right “fitter”? How do I find a physician with diagnostic expertise? But also: Can costs be refunded? How do I create a network?

Community creates confidence

“The subjects of exchange, community, sharing experiences, and looking for solutions were important to the participants,” Michael Heguy sums up. “We have a lot to thank social networking for: over the past years, it has enabled those affected to network, which has resulted in an increase in the awareness of their concerns.” This is particularly important with a condition that opposes the traditional aesthetic ideal of women. A lot of patients have to develop confidence – encouragement from other women helps with this. “Lymphedema and lipedema aren’t conditions society knows much about,” Tina Krahn points out, “we want to create a platform for that. In our opinion, sharing experiences, self-help, and attentive self-care are part of the treatment element that is self-management.” 

Three questions for Michael Heguy, President of the Galien Group

How do you characterize those living with lymphedema?
A lot of our patients have a tough journey to receive the appropriate treatment. For us as suppliers, it’s really impressive to see how they manage. The search for medical supplies and information helping lymphedema patients during everyday life remains a major challenge in Canada.

What are the key concerns patients express during your consultations?
They’re looking for information and support that will provide specific help on how to master everyday activities.

Does the Canadian health system bear the costs of compression products?
Private insurance and the public health system in some provinces will bear the costs, but many patients fall through the gaps in the health system because of social and economic conditions.

Goes with any shape

Lymphedema can occur in many different areas of the body. The wide spectrum of VenoTrain curaflow meets these needs: there are products for individual compression therapy of arms, legs, and thorax. The compression stocking reduces pain caused by tension and promotes the removal of fluid from the tissue, which counteracts further accumulation and hardening. Every VenoTrain curaflow compression product is custom-made using the flat knit process. Numerous adjustment options and customizations are possible, for ostomy patients or specific anatomies for example. Available in eleven colors.
Tip: the curaflow App supports patients’ treatment during everyday life.

Images: Bauerfeind, Galien Group

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