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History and Philosophy of the ReidSleeveŽ (U.S. Patent 5,916,183)
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Dr. Reid's Corner
I developed the ReidSleeveŽ while I was in training in Oncology at Stanford University. During that time, I treated many patients with breast cancer who had developed a condition called lymphedema. Many of my patients had worsening lymphedema despite conventional therapy and in many cases, the patient's insurance company refused to cover therapy for lymphedema. I conceived of the technology that has become known as the ReidSleeve after numerous, futile attempts to obtain insurance coverage for lymphedema treatment for these patients. Time and again, I was frustrated by the lack of interest from the insurance companies and by the lack of benefit my patients received from available treatments. As a result, I studied the problem of lymphedema and sought a more effective way to help these patients.

I wanted an effective treatment that was also easy for my patients to use. I wanted something that was comfortable to wear so that my patients would not be further burdened with difficult and cumbersome treatments. I felt that the suffering they endured as the result of having breast cancer was more than enough. Since many of my patients were busy mothers and professionals, I wanted something they could put on easily and quickly and that would apply the proper compression each time.

I spent many weekends and evenings studying the lymphatic system and the changes that caused lymphedema and, as a result of this work, designed a compression sleeve made of convoluted foam and adjustable straps. Fundamentally, my goal was to make a compression sleeve that was soft and comfortable and that provided effective compression while minimizing obstruction of venous or lyphatic outflow. Fortunately, the compression sleeve I developed was effective and my patients began telling other lymphedema suffers of their progress.

The ReidSleeve has emerged as one of the most effective treatments for lymphedema. In a effort to assure accuracy and consistency of the pressure exerted by the ReidSleeve, I developed a special compression gauge so that patients could determine the level of pressure that was exerted by the ReidSleeve. For several years the ReidSleeve was our main product but I was still not satisfied since many patients had additional needs. To help these patients, I developed the Optiflow, an insert which brings the advantages of the ReidSleeve technology to sequential pumps and compressive wraps. To reduce the size of the ReidSleeve for patients with modest amounts of lymphedema, the OptiFlow CS has been developed. The OptiFlow CS is a lighter and cooler version of the ReidSleeve that is designed for patients with mild to moderate amounts of edema.

As the result of growing interest in the ReidSleeve, many people have joined in my efforts to bring effective, proven treatments to patients suffering from lymphedema. Each member of the team contributes a high level of skill and dedication in areas of engineering, manufacturing, patient support, insurance billing and management. And each member of our team is committed to the original philosophy of service and concern for the patient that led to the initial development of the ReidSleeve. Patients often have different and unique problems. As a result, we still offer custom production of the ReidSleeve to address the particular needs of each patient. We offer patient support services, insurance verification and billing, provide a free newsletter, answer patient questions through the lymphedema forum and provide analysis of the patient's response that is available to the patient and therapist through the EdemaCalc system. I am very happy to have the opportunity to work with the people at Peninsula BioMedical. Together, we will strive to improve the treatment for lymphedema while maintaining the concern for the patient as an individual that led to the initial development of the ReidSleeve.

Tony Reid MD Ph.D
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