Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology

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Synergistic Effect of low elastic compression sleeves in the treatment of lymphedema after breast cancer treatment

Author(s): Tereza Cristina Pereira Vale, Tânia Dias Guimarães, Daniel Libanori, Stela Marys Baruffi

The aim of this study was to evaluate the reduction in volume of lymphedematous arms using an association of low elastic compression and active exercises controlled using a facilitating device. Eighteen female patients with arm lymphedema resulting from the treatment of breast cancer (surgical, chemotherapy and radiotherapy) were randomly included in a rehabilitation group. The mean age of the women was 57.8 years old. The participants were submitted to two one-hour sessions of active exercises, one while using a low elastic compression sleeve and the other without compression. The active exercise session associated with compression therapy significantly reduced the volume of the lymphedematous limb (p-value = 0.001) but no significant change was observed without compression (p-value = 0.6). Low elastic compression has a synergistic effect with controlled active exercises in reducing the volume of lymphedematous arms.