Due to the electrical burns on my right leg and the skin grafts on my right and left legs my plastic surgeon recommended I wear Jobst compression garments to help reduce scarring and help prevent hypertrophic scarring, and for my stump to help reduce the edema (swelling).
When he first suggested the jobst garments I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it didn’t sound too bad for a short period of time. When I asked him how long I’d need to wear them for he said a year, oh and it works best if I wear them 24 hours a day!
Now that didn’t sound like fun to me. Where we live in Northern California it can get pretty warm during the summer months, temperatures over 100F aren’t uncommon…wearing the equivalent of a pair of thermal tights through the summer didn’t seem like it was going to be too comfortable.
Anyhow I went and got fitted for the garments and about 2 weeks later the first set arrived and I got to try them on. It’s like putting on a pair of thick lycra tights and they use special gloves (they look like very thick washing up gloves) to help pull them up because the material is quite shear and slippery. My leg garments are crotchless (very sexy) and I wear my underpants over the top, just like superman.
I now have two pairs of garments for both my legs and arm and whilst I wasn’t too sure at first, it makes an incredible difference to my wounds. I only wear the leg garment during the day and don’t sleep in it, but they have really helped flatten the skin grafts and reduce scarring, so I intend to keep wearing them for the year as instructed. The arm garment (or “stump shrinker”) I wear pretty much 24 hours a day and it helps reduce the edema, flatten the scarring and also provides some protection for my stump.
As you can see from the before and after shots, these garments really do work. I also have a twice daily ritual (morning/night) that I go through to help with the healing. I use vitamin E oil around the scarring on my stump and I use a coco butter-based hand and body lotion on my skin grafts. After this has been absorbed I use Mederma, which was recommended to me by my physiotherapist, it’s a silicone-based solution. Silicone has been shown to help reduce keloids and hypertrophic scarring.