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Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology

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Active exercises utilizing a facilitating device in the treatment of lymphedema

Author(s): Maria de Fátima Guerreiro Godoy, Antonio Helio Oliani

The aim of this study was to evaluate the reduction in volume of arm lymphedema secondary to breast cancer therapy utilizing an exercise facilitating device. Twenty-four women with arm lymphedema resulting from the surgical and radiotherapeutic treatment of breast cancer were randomly selected. Evaluation was made by water-displacement volumetry before and after each session. The patients were submitted to a series of active exercises using a facilitating device for four 12-minute sessions with intervals of 3 minutes between sessions in the sitting position with alignment of the spinal column. The lymphedematous arm was maintained under compression using a cotton-polyester sleeve. The active exercising device used was a mobile rotating circular device fixed table. The paired t-test was utilized for statistical analysis with an alpha error of 5% (p-value ≤ 0.05) being considered significant. The initial mean volume of the arms was 2089.9 and the final volume was 2023.0 mL with a mean loss of 66.9 mL (p-value < 0.001). In conclusion, active exercises utilizing facilitating devices can contribute to a reduction in size of lymphedematous limbs.


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