Hamner, J.B., & Fleming, M.D. (2007). Lymphedema therapy reduces the volume of edema and pain in patients with breast cancer. Annals of Surgical Oncology, 14(6), 1904–1908.doi: 10.1245/s10434-006-9332-1
The data analysis included medical records of 119 patients with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer who were receiving a protocol of complete decongestive therapy (CDT), including manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression bandages, skin care, and exercise. MLD was performed twice weekly by a physical or occupational therapist trained in the Foldi method of lymphatic decongestion. Between sessions, patients wore elastic compression bandages, changed twice daily. Patients were instructed in skin and nail care. Therapy was divided into two phases: induction and maintenance. During the eight-week induction phase, the intervention was performed twice weekly. The maintenance phase was individualized to patient needs. Absolute volume and percentage of volume of lymphedema were compared before and after treatment. The degree of chronic pain and the need for pain medication also were assessed. Using medical records, data were collected for all patients receiving CDT for lymphedema.
Only those with unilateral lymphedema of the upper extremity that resulted from the treatment of breast cancer were included.
The study used a retrospective design.