Flexitouch – Development of a Framework for Pneumatic Device Selection for Lymphedema Treatment: A Case Series Report

Author: Sonja M. Maul, CLT-LANA, Julie A. Devine, OTR/L, CLT, and Carolyn R. Wincer, PT, DPT, CLT-LANA

PublishedMedical Devices: Evidence and Research. 2009; Vol. 2: 57–65


This paper tracks results of three patients with difficult-to-manage leg and trunk lymphedema. All were treated with the current standard of care, complete decongestive therapy, and all met obstacles in achieving independent self-care. The use of the Flexitouch system and Lympha Press Optimal®, two different programmable pneumatic compression devices (PCDs), were investigated to determine if these devices could enable this type of patient to meet their discharge goals. Results indicate that programmable PCDs can be effective in managing complicated cases of leg and trunk lymphedema, and that clinical outcomes may differ between the devices. In this trial, the device with lower applied pressures and smaller pneumatic chambers proved easier for patients to tolerate and provided better patient outcomes. These cases show that in-home use of an appropriate PCD can help patients with stage three and advanced stage two lymphedema achieve stable limb volumes with no exacerbation of lymphedema related symptoms.