Flexitouch – Reduction of Complications and Associated Costs with Flexitouch Therapy for Lymphedema
Author: Tina Hammond, PTA, CLT-LANA
Published: The Open Rehabilitation Journal. 2009; Vol. 2: 59–62
Lymphedema is a chronic condition requiring multiple clinic visits over several weeks for costly treatment and education by a trained therapist, followed by lifelong in-home self-care. The self-care regimen can be physically and psychologically demanding and inadequate treatment can lead to progression of the lymphedema and serious complications. The patient described in this report was diligent with a home-care program yet experienced difficulty controlling her lymphedema independently, necessitating a return to skilled therapy for repeated treatments. This case study describes the impact that an advanced pneumatic device, the Flexitouch system, had on the costs of treatment and quality of life for a patient with lymphedema. Substantial long- and short-term cost reductions and quality of life gains may have been realized as the patient achieved successful maintenance of a home care program without any lymphedema-related complications or infections requiring hospitalization, antibiotic therapy or in-clinic lymphedema therapy.