Flexitouch – Advanced Pneumatic Therapy in Self-Care of Chronic Lymphedema of the Trunk

Authors: Sheila H. Ridner, PhD, RN, Barbara Murphy, MD, Kie Deng, PhD, RN, Nancy Kidd, BS, Emily Galford, RN, and Mary S. Dietrich, PhD

PublishedLymphatic Research and Biology. 2010; Vol. 8(4): 209–215


The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary, post-market, home study of the Flexitouch system to examine the potential efficacy of the device as a component of self-care in breast cancer survivors with truncal lymphedema.


Logs revealed 100% compliance with the eight prescribed unobserved home treatments. Symptoms were assessed by self-report symptom surveys. Signs, objectively observed physical phenomenon, were assessed by staff-initiated skin examination and circumferential truncal measurements. Statistically significant improvement in truncal symptoms and sleep were found. Changes in function and girth were not statistically significant in this initial study.


Breast cancer survivors with truncal lymphedema may benefit from using an advanced pneumatic compression devices (APCDs) with truncal treatment as part of their self-care program. Participants were highly compliant in device use.