Foam pads and chip bags — sometimes called “Schneider pads” and “Schneider packs,” after the lymphedema therapist who first used them — may be recommended if you have pockets of pronounced swelling and/or fibrosis (the scarring and hardening of the soft tissue under the skin). These haven’t been evaluated in research studies, but many therapists find they can help break down problem areas.
- Foam pads are placed under the bandages or compression garment to apply constant, gentle pressure to any pockets of obvious swelling. This can help restore the limb or body part to its normal shape. Foam pads come in many different shapes and sizes.
- Chip bags are small bags of shredded foam chips layered between two pieces of fabric. These can be placed under your bandages or compression sleeve/garment to help break down fibrosis. As you wear them, they knead and massage the hardened areas to help soften the tissue. Chip bags also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
If foam pads or chip bags are recommended, your lymphedema therapist can show you how to place them under your bandages, compression sleeve, or other garment. These may or may not be covered by your insurance plan. Some common brands include: