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How to help manage the symptoms of lymphedema.

Elderly, Caucasian, female, leg wrapped, kneeling with dog

Lymphedema is a condition in which chronic swelling occurs when the flow of lymph fluid is interrupted, leading to a buildup in soft tissues.1 It is estimated that 1 million Canadians are affected by chronic edema/lymphedema, yet there is a lack of recognition of the seriousness of this disease.2 Untreated chronic edema/lymphedema is progressive and can lead to infection, disfigurement, disability, and in some cases even death.3 A cornerstone of treatment for those who suffer from this disease is compression therapy, as well as Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), meticulous skin care, and learning about self-management.

Living with lymphedema.

Debbie Shmanka is a patient who lives with lymphedema, and as time progressed it began taking its toll on her quality of life. 

“I had uncontrolled swelling, a lot of pain in my feet, lymphatic warts, and even some open sores,” she says. Debbie experienced difficulty going to the bathroom, as well as discomfort, pain, and itching from her waist to her feet. 

Chronic lymphodema treatment application

Debbie did everything she could to alleviate her symptoms, and it wasn’t until her doctor recommended the 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System that her condition started to improve.

What can you do to manage your symptoms?

3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System is suitable for the management of venous leg ulcers, lymphedema, chronic edema, and other clinical conditions where compression is appropriate. It can provide sustained therapeutic compression for up to seven days. It is clinically proven to significantly help reduce the potential for slippage and improve patient's daily living activities.5

When Debbie started using the 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System, her legs and feet no longer felt heavy and achy, and she was able to use the washroom with regularity again.

“The 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System gave me my life back and made it easier to live with lymphedema.” –Debbie Shmanka

“The 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System forms to my legs and feet in a way that compression stockings never did,” Debbie says. “Other stockings would slip or gather around my knees, but the 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System has given me the freedom to work regularly,” she continues. “I have two jobs that I love and before I found the 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System, having to go on disability because of my lymphedema was a real possibility. Life is great now. I have a great nurse who does a super wrap for me and am able to be active again,” Debbie says. “The 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System gave me my life back and made it easier to live with lymphedema.”

Lymphedema and chronic edema conditions should not stop you from doing what you love every day. Using 3M’s compressions systems as a part of treatment can help deliver positive results and can hence help you to live more comfortably and happily.

Want to learn more?

For more information, contact a representative today.


Disclaimer: The 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System should be prescribed and applied by your health care professional.  At the discretion of the health care professional, patients or their care providers can be trained to apply the bandage for subsequent applications.

The person depicted in the banner image is not Debbie Shmanka.


  1. Miller, M.C. (2019, April). What Is Lymphedema and Why Does It Happen? JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 145(6): No Pagination Specified. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.0392.
  2. Keast D.H., Moffatt, C., and Janmohammad, A. 2019. Lymphedema Impact and Prevalence International Study: The Canadian Data. Lymphat Res Biol 17(2):178–186. doi:10.1089/lrb.2019.0014
  3. Mortimer, P.S. (1995). Managing lymphedema. Retrieved from:
  4. McNeely M.L., Magee, D.J., Lees, A.W., Bagnall, K.M., Haykowsky, M., and Hanson, J. 2004. The addition of manual lymph drainage to compression therapy for breast cancer related lymphedema: a randomized controlled trial. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 86(2):95–106.
  5. 3M data on file.

About the Author

[enBio=Jan-Marie Morgan has been the Professional Service Specialist for the Medical Solutions Division of 3M Canada since October 2016. Previously, she was a Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner, receiving her Master’s degree and NP certificate from McMaster University. Jan-Marie has specialized in wound care since 2002, with expertise in diabetic foot ulcer management and pressure ulcer prevention and has spoken locally and internationally on evidence-based wound practices to help improve the lives of those we care for. ],[enJob=Clinical Specialist, 3M Canada, Medical Solutions Division],[frBio=Jan-Marie Morgan est la spécialiste des services professionnels pour la Division des solutions médicales de 3M Canada depuis octobre 2016. Auparavant, elle était infirmière praticienne en soins de santé primaires et elle a obtenu sa maîtrise et son certificat d’infirmière praticienne de l’Université McMaster. Jan-Marie se spécialise dans les soins des plaies depuis 2002 et possède une expertise en gestion des ulcères du pied diabétique et en prévention des escarres de décubitus. Elle a donné des conférences à l’échelle locale et internationale sur les pratiques de traitement des plaies fondées sur des données probantes pour améliorer la vie des gens qui nous sont chers.],[frJob=Spécialiste clinique, 3M Canada, Division des solutions médicales]

Profile Photo of Jan-Marie Morgan, RN, MScN
3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System