Intermittent pneumatic compression acts synergistically with manual lymphatic drainage in complex decongestive physiotherapy for breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema

Gyözö Szolnoky, B. Lakatos, T. Keskeny, E. Varga, M. Varga, A. Dobozy, L. Kemény

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The application of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) as a part of complex decongestive physiotherapy (CDP) remains controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the combination of IPC with manual lymph drainage (MLD) could improve CDP treatment outcomes in women with secondary lymphedema after breast cancer treatment. A randomized study was undertaken with 13 subjects receiving MLD (60 min) and 14 receiving MLD (30 min) plus IPC (30 min) followed by standardized components of CDP including multilayered compression bandaging, physical exercise, and skin care 10 times in a 2-week-period. Efficacy of treatment was evaluated by limb volume reduction and a subjective symptom questionnaire at end of the treatment, and one and two months after beginning treatment. The two groups had similar demographic and clinical characteristics. Mean reductions in limb volumes for each group at the end of therapy, and at one and two months were 7.93% and 3.06%, 9.02% and 2.9%, and 9.62% and 3.6%, respectively (p<0.05 from baseline for each group and also between groups at each measurement). Although a significant decrease in the subjective symptom survey was found for both groups compared to baseline, no significant difference between the groups was found at any time point. The application of IPC with MLD provides a synergistic enhancement of the effect of CDP in arm volume reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalLymphology
Volume42
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2009

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphadenectomy
  • Lymphedema
  • Physiotherapy
  • Pneumatic pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Hematology

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