Image of a nurse applying the Coban 2 Compression System to a patient.

Edema & Lymphedema Treatment

Help your patients stay fully engaged in daily activities and enjoy their quality of life with science-based compression therapy and skin integrity solutions.


Help your patients improve their mobility with edema and lymphedema treatment

  • Lymphedema and chronic edema are conditions characterized by swelling due to the build-up of lymph fluid in the tissues just under the skin. The swelling is most often seen in arms or legs, but not exclusively. It often causes pain and discomfort, affecting mobility and appearance, and can negatively impact a patient’s mental health, further affecting their quality of life.

    Our goal is to apply science to alleviate problems associated with abnormal swelling and enable patients to lead more active lives. Compression therapy is widely accepted as an effective component of lymphedema and chronic edema treatment.

Managing edema and lymphedema: The four components of Complex Decongestive Therapy

Complex decongestive therapy (CDT) involves a combination of treatment approaches for managing edema and lymphedema, including skin care, manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy and exercise. The main goals of the therapy are listed below.

  • Image of a nurse caring for a patient’s lower leg extremity.
    Skin care

    Skin care is essential to patient vitality and critical for good health. Good skin care can help prevent deterioration and ulceration, which is why it’s important to encourage patients to take an active role in their own care.

  • Image of a massage therapist applying massage techniques to a patient’s lower leg extremities in order to reduce swelling and encourage lymphatic drainage.
    Manual lymphatic drainage

    As part of a lymphedema treatment regimen to reduce swelling, this gentle, non-invasive manual massaging technique encourages the natural drainage of the lymph.¹,²

  • Image of a nurse applying compression therapy to a patient’s lower leg extremity.
    Compression therapy

    Compression bandaging is a cornerstone of CDT. It is essential to reduce volume to enable the patient to move into compression hosiery. Ideal compression incorporates inelastic and elastic components, allows for full functionality and movement, is easy to apply and adapt to a range of limb sizes and shapes, is durable and non-allergenic, and is comfortable for the patient.

  • Image of a patient wearing compression therapy on their arm while exercising.

    Exercise is vital for overall and lymphatic health as well as mental well-being. The type of exercises you encourage your patients to perform depends on their current physical activity level, age, personality, and their edema. Patients should exercise while wearing compression to stimulate the lymphatic system and increase venous return.

3M solutions for managing edema and lymphedema

  • Icon shwowing leg therapeutic compression

    Provide therapeutic compression

    The 3M™ Coban™ 2 Two-Layer Compression System provides effective compression therapy, which has been shown to contribute to effective venous leg ulcer (VLU) management through edema reduction, decreased pain and improvement in a patient’s daily activities.³,

  • Male medical staff with elderly female leg patient
    For lower extremities

    Normal Compression

    3M™ Coban™ 2 Two-Layer Compression System
    The Coban 2 Compression System is easy to apply and remove, and provides effective compression therapy. Effective compression has shown to reduce edema, decrease pain, and improve a patient’s daily activities. For patients with ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) greater than or equal to 0.8.

  • Coban 2 Layer Compression System 2094, application photo
    For upper extremities

    Lite Compression

    3M™ Coban™ 2 Lite Two-Layer Compression System
    The Coban 2 Lite Compression System is engineered to stay in place and deliver comfortable, effective, modified light therapeutic compression (25-30 mmHg) for patients with ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) greater than or equal to 0.5. Or for patients that cannot tolerate high compression.

  • icon showing the dial

    Protect the skin

    • Skin damage such as maceration, erythema are often associated with VLUs. Research supports the routine protection of periwound skin from excess exudate, mechanical trauma, and protection of at-risk, compromised skin as essential steps in VLU wound management and wound bed preparation.⁵

      NOTE: Specific indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and safety information exist for these products and therapies, some of which may be Rx only. Please consult a clinician and product Instruction for Use prior to application.

  • Photo showing 3M™ Cavilon™ Durable Barrier Cream being applied to a patients sacral area.jpg
    For the prevention of skin breakdown and for moisturizing intact skin.


    3M™ Cavilon™ Durable Barrier Cream
    This unique, concentrated moisturizing barrier cream formulated with 3M polymers provides durable, long-lasting moisture barrier protection while moisturizing the skin.

  • Photo showing 3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film being applied to a patients back
    For the routine protection of periwound skin in low risk patients.

    Protect Intact Skin

    3M™ Cavilon™ No Sting Barrier Film
    Cavilon No Sting Barrier Film provides a gentler way to protect skin from body fluids, adhesives and friction. The alcohol-free barrier film applies without stinging, and forms a breathable, transparent film for long-lasting protection.

  • Nurse applying Cavilon™ Advanced Skin Protectant on patient's skin
    For managing moderate to severe skin damage or protecting intact skin in higher risk patients.

    Protect At-Risk Skin

    3M™ Cavilon™ Advanced Skin Protectant
    Cavilon Advanced Skin Protectant is a highly durable, ultra-thin barrier that attaches to wet, weepy skin⁶ and lasts up to seven days,⁷ creating a protective environment that repels irritants and supports healing.

Lowering the total cost of care for edema and lymphedema treatment

  • Icon showings half cost

    In a randomized controlled trial, the total cost of care per patient of Coban 2 Compression System’s twice-weekly application was shown to be significantly less than that of the competing brand studied.⁸ In fact, for both arm lymphoedema and leg lymphoedema, the Coban 2 Compression system was shown to cost less than half the nursing time and materials.⁸

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Helping you develop your skills

Discover online learning that's right for you and deepen your clinical expertise with professional training opportunities and educational resources available on 3M℠ Health Care Academy. 3M webinars and archived events can help keep you up to date with the latest product guidelines and scientifically supported standards of care.

View courses

Application and removal guides for Coban 2 Two-Layer Compression System

Download the following resource guides to get step-by-step instructions on how to apply compression therapy for a variety of patients using the Coban 2 Two-Layer Compression System.

Edema and lymphedema information for your patients

  • Image of a male patient wearing a compression bandage on his lower left leg extremity while playing a game of croquet.

    Studies show that less than half of patients wear their compression bandages.¹,² Most often, patients remove their bandages due to pain and/or slippage, which interferes with their daily activities. Patients need to understand the importance of remaining concordant with their compression therapy.

    If a patient experiences any of the following signs and symptoms while wearing compression, they should contact their healthcare provider right away:

    • Pain or excessive tightness
    • Tingling or numbness
    • Blue or white fingers or toes
    • Excessive itching or rashes

    Once the patient has gone through a reduction phase to reduce swelling, they can move into compression hosiery, including arm sleeves, gloves, trunk compression, stockings, socks, tights or other options depending on the patient’s condition and tolerance.

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Explore solutions for different conditions

  • Your patients count on you to help them stay out of the hospital and reduce the pain and discomfort caused by DFUs. We offer negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT), advanced wound dressings, and skin integrity solutions to help your patients on their journey to healing.

    Learn more about managing diabetic foot ulcers

  • When pressure injuries can’t be avoided, establish a standard of care that treats the whole patient. 3M can help with solutions to support therapy goals established between you and your patients.

    Learn more about managing pressure injuries

  • Optimal outcomes start with early treatment and consistent management of traumatic wounds. Together, we can strive to reduce preventable complications, drive toward better outcomes and, ultimately, aspire to restore patients’ lives.

    Learn more about managing traumatic wounds

  • People living with chronic edema and VLUs want to engage fully in everyday activities - without feeling uncomfortable or self-conscious about what’s on their legs and feet. 3M can help manage challenges related to VLUs.

    Learn more about managing venous leg ulcers

images left to right show: a pressure injury on adult heel, transparent film dressing on an infant hand, a patient with venous leg ulcer, a patient with diabetic foot ulcer.

Need help finding a wound care solution
in the care for your patients? 

The 3M Wound Therapy Guide can help assist you in selecting a wound care solution for your patient based on the attributes and treatment objectives you choose. This guide is intended for use by clinicians in the United States for outpatient care.*

You may also view all treatment approaches without specific recommendations.

View References

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NOTE: Specific indications, warning, precautions and safety information exist for all 3M products and therapies. Prior to use of any medical device, it is important for
the provider to consult the treating physician and read and understand all Instructions for Use, including Safety Information, Application Instructions, and Therapy
Device Instructions.

*Wound care product options are generated based on the application, preferences and wound characteristics selected. Other 3M products may also be suitable/available. It is
up to each clinician to assess whether any product will meet their wound care objectives. Any product identified through this guide is not intended to promote compatibility or
convey combined use unless expressly indicated, or intended to substitute for clinicians’ clinical judgment.

3M does not make any claims that its products prevent, treat, or reduce the incidence of infection. For specific 3M products, please refer to the Instructions for Use.

Selection aid results to be used in conjunction with good clinical practice; utilize appropriate debridement and/or antibiotics where necessary. Untreated osteomyelitis
is contraindicated for use with 3M™ V.A.C.® Therapy. 3M™ Cavilon™ Advanced Skin Protectant is compatible with 3M acrylic negative pressure drapes.

1. Reproduced from WoundSource ( © 2021 HMP Global, Inc. Used with permission.
2. Reproduced from Scottsdale Wound Management Guide ( © 2021 HMP Global, Inc. Used with permission.

© 2023 3M. All rights reserved. 3M and the other marks shown are marks and/or registered marks. Unauthorized use prohibited.
Looking for more information?
  • 3M is committed to providing customer service, including product reimbursement education and resources, to clinical providers and healthcare facilities that use qualified 3M products.

  • We are here to help! Get in touch with our customer support team for advice about our products and how to use them.

  • View our advanced wound products and NPWT product portfolio and browse our product catalog.

  • Find Instructions for Use (IFU) to easily access documents for specific 3M Health Care products.

  • References

    1. Moffatt C. International consensus: best practice for the management of lymphoedema. International Consensus: Best Practice for the Management of Lymphoedema. 2006.

    2. Glover D. Best Practice for the Management of Lymphoedema - 2nd edition: Compression Therapy: A position document on compression bandaging. International Lymphoedema Framework. 2012

    3. Mosti G, Crespi A, Mattaliano V. Comparison Between a New, Two-component Compression System with Zinc Paste Bandages for Leg Ulcers Healing: A Prospective, Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial Monitoring Sub-bandage Pressures. Wounds. 2011; 23(5): 126–134.

    4. Moffatt C, Edwards L, Collier M, et al. A randomized controlled 8-week crossover clinical evaluation of the 3M™ Coban™ 2 Layer Compression System versus Profore™ to evaluate product performance in patients with venous leg ulcers. Int Wound J. 2008; 5(2); 267–279

    5. Bianchi, J. A. N. I. C. E. (2012). Protecting the integrity of the periwound skin. Wound Essentials, 7(1), 58–64.

    6. Brennan, Mary R.; Milne, Catherine T.; Agrell-Kann, Marie; Ekholm, Bruce P. Clinical Evaluation of a Skin Protectant for the Management of Incontinence Associated Dermatitis: An Open-Label, Nonrandomized, Prospective Study. J of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing. 2017. 44(2):172-180.

    7. 3M Data on File. EM-05-013924, EM-05-305812.

    8. Moffatt C.J., Franks P.J., Hardy D., Lewis M., Feldman J.L. A preliminary randomized controlled study to determine the application frequency of a new lymphoedema bandaging system. British Journal of Dermatology. 2012; 166. 624-632.