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2021, April 15

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Is there anything I can do about my excessive swelling in my feet and legs?

Short answer – It depends. While the above image is not showing capillary malformations or vein malformations; lymphatic swelling sure seems prevalent. What stage swelling are you at? I’d bet, accordingly, your doctor’s prescription varies greatly.

Bill Lee

[Legacy material from a previous Seen, Yet Not Heard edition]

Seven “TO DO’s” come to mind when dealing with excess limb swelling, keeping in mind that we swell up due to compromised Vein and Lymphatic vessels.

My doctor prescribed these, based on my specific symptoms, my specific anomalies (level 2 when not behaving myself):

  • ELEVATE YOUR LEGS at waist level, at a minimum
  • (possibly) Wear DR Prescribed Compression Stockings
  • Wear newer style Over the Counter Compression Stockings
  • Get K-T experienced Physician prescribed care & treatment
  • (possibly) Take prescriptive Sirilimous
  • (possibly) Take anti-inflammatories, anti-coagulants
  • Low impact exercise, particularly swimming

Physician Prescribed Compression Socks
[Therapist Fitted]

New Age
Compression Sports
[Over the Counter]

New Article

Bill shares his lessons learned based on his physician’s consults and med-science literature. Level 2 connotates Bill’s Lymphatic condition

(1) Elevation of your leg above your waist for as many hours as practical or plausible. My doctors prescribed 20 hours a day for my condition [we all have different malformations be they vein or lymphatic vessels, so having a KT experienced doctor looking at comprehensive Radiological Images would get you a better idea of how extensive yours are and how much elevation time may help.

(2) As an adjunct to the above, wearing doctor prescribed compression stockings (physical therapist measured and fitted) for their prescribed periods of time may helps to support your weaker veins and lymphatic vessels which makes these last longer (protects them from accelerated breakdowns and further failure. I use the word “may” intentionally. I turned out to be in the minority where heavy compression was counterproductive.

(3) In the event the above is not affordable or counterproductive, you could try over-the-counter compression stockings. There is a newer product on the market – Sports Compression Stockings – that could help. These are engineered to help “normal” people who work on their feet or do sports a lot. The key thing to know is that these have compression ratios that do not go as high as doctor prescribed stockings – BUT THEN YOUR SPECIFIC CONDITION MAY NOT REQUIRE compression ratios higher than these offer.

NOTE: Compression stockings worn without skilled KT examination can cause permanent damage to peripheral nerves. My actual experience being over compression for 20 years. The mistake made by a doctor who prescribed these without doing comprehensive vein studies using advanced imaging protocols. Turns out I only tolerate compression levels in the Over the Counter range. And they help tremendously – even so I am forced to take a week or so off of them, using elevation as my prescribed relief.

(4) As an adjunct to this, doctor prescribed heavy duty agents that reduce swelling. I’m thinking of Sirilimous (but it has a major need for doctor monitoring as it doesn’t work for many and even causes its own set of medical issues). BUT IT WORKS in enough patients to warrant consideration for those who fight dysfunctional days due to major swelling and/or soft tissue hypertrophy. My swelling level does not warrant this therapy; I mention it because fellow KT travelers are on it and it is helping them.

(5) As an adjunct to the above heavy duty drug, doctor prescribed meds that reduce swelling and blood clotting and vascular congestion may be helpful. The list is long and best managed by a skilled KT doctor and absent one of these a medical doctor that monitors their use for unintended consequences. I have been on blood thinners for a period of time when indicated. Some of our fellow travelers are on these constantly.

(6) As an adjunct to all of the above, swimming everyday, maybe a couple times a day. Pool, ocean, river water has natural compression levels that basically do what stockings do and you get the benefit of exercising your muscles without adding severe trauma to your veins which most likely are compromised since birth. The cornerstone problem with KT is that blood goes into our limbs at “normal” volumes and pressure, but our veins are not equipped to return it fast enough. Thus it pools in our legs. Vascular swelling. ADD TO THIS our compromised Lymphatic Vessels and many of us get lymphatic swelling also. I tried to do this regularly until I had open wounds from Venous Stasis Ulcers. I also am a terrible swimmer. The one thing I would change about my youth is to have been put in the swimming pool early in life and adopted it as my daily go to exercise.

Please take the ABOVE as an explanation of what Bill does, of what he has learned, of what his doctor’s prescribed. This is what med-science calls anecdotal; meaning its best to take this information to an experienced and successful K-T doctor to verify your or your child’s individual symptoms/syndrome benefits from these.



Vascular Anomalies Classification: Recommendations From the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies | American Academy of Pediatrics (aappublications.org)

From: Vascular Anomalies Classification: Recommendations From the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies | American Academy of Pediatrics (aappublications.org) PDF “Vascular anomalies (vascular tumors and vascular malformations), oftenContinue reading “Vascular Anomalies Classification: Recommendations From the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies | American Academy of Pediatrics (aappublications.org)”

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