LO Research Excerpts


Effectiveness of the Complex Lymphatic Therapy


Decongestive lymphatic therapy for patients with cancer-related or primary lymphedema
PURPOSE: A prospective evaluation was undertaken to assess the efficacy of intensive, short-term decongestive
lymphatic therapy coupled with focused patient instruction in long-term self-care for the management of lymphedema.
RESULTS: The mean short-term reduction in limb volume was 44% ± 62% of the excess volume in the upper
extremities and 42% ± 40% in the lower extremities. At follow-up, these results were adequately sustained: mean
long-term excess volume reductions of 38% ± 56% (upper extremities) and 41% ± 27% (lower extremities) were
CONCLUSION: Decongestive lymphatic therapy, combined with long-term self-management, is efficacious in treating
patients with lymphedema of the extremity.
Andrzej Szuba, MD, PhD, AffiliationsStanford Lymphedema Center, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University School
of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA, John P Cooke, MD, PhD, Shuja Yousuf, MD, A, Stanley G Rockson, MD
Received 30 September 1999; received in revised form 23 May 2000; accepted 23 May 2000. published online 16 August 2004.

The incidence of secondary lymphoedema following treatment for cancer in Australia
is unknown and it is likely that its prevalence is underestimated. Taken together, conservative estimates suggest that
20% of cancer survivors will experience secondary lymphoedema. This equates to more than 8000 new cases per
year in Australia, highlighting the potential public health burden of cancer-related secondary lymphoedema.


Comparing two treatment methods for post mastectomy lymphedema: complex decongestive therapy alone
and in combination with intermittent pneumatic compression.

This study demonstrated that the use of CDT alone, or in combination with IPC significantly reduced limb volume in
patients with post mastectomy lymphedema. CDT alone provided better results in both treatment phases. Further
studies will help to define the role of multidisciplinary approaches in the management of postmastectomy
Author(s) Haghighat S, Lotfi-Tokaldany M, Yunesian M, Akbari ME, Nazemi F, Weiss J
Institution Breast Research Department, Iranian Center for Breast Cancer, Tehran, Iran. Sh_haghighat@yahoo.com
Source Lymphology 2010 Mar; 43(1):25-33.
PubMed ID 20552817


Aetiology and prevalence of lower limb lymphoedema following treatment for gynaecological cancer
To determine the prevalence and incidence of lower limb lymphoedema (LLL) in a cohort of women who had
treatment for gynaecological cancer between May 1995 and April 2000.
Results and conclusions: The diagnosis of lower limb lymphoedema was made in 18% of the total sample: 53% of
these were diagnosed within 3 months of treatment, a further 18% within 6 months, 13% within 12 months and the
remaining 16% up to 5 years following treatment. Women most at risk for developing LLL were those who had
treatment for vulvar cancer with removal of lymph nodes and follow up radiotherapy. For this subsample, the
prevalence was 47%. The finding that LLL occurs within the first year is earlier than hitherto generally believed. It is
therefore imperative for all health professionals to include care and assessment of the legs particularly during the
immediate pre- and postoperative period.
Mary Ryan*, M. Colleen Stainton, Emma K. Slaytor, Carmel Jaconelli, Sally Watts, Patricia MacKenzie
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume 43, Issue 2, p. 148-151, April 2003

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