Stanford study touts lymphedema pumps

Sunday, March 9, 2003

March 10, 2003

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Long a victim of suspect effectiveness, Lymphedema pumps shook hands with credibility in December when a Sanford University study touted them as "enhancing" the treatment of lymphedema in post-mastectomy patients.

Specifically, the study investigated the safety and effectiveness of lymphedema pumps for the treatment of upper-extremity lymphedema in post-mastectomy patients when used in conjunction with compression bandaging and manual lymphatic massage.

The study by the Stanford Center for Lymphatic and Venous Disorders stated that:

(1) When used together with compression garments and other therapy, lymphedema pumps can enhance a patient's response to therapy.

(2) Pneumatic compression pumps can be used safely and effectively for the treatment of patients with breast carcinoma-associated lymphedema.

Numerous early studies tried to demonstrate the effectiveness of pumps as a solo therapy, but reports of complications and a lack of effectiveness dampen enthusiasm for the solo therapy.

For more on this story, see the April issue of HME News.