Study/Article

Flexitouch – Pneumatic Compression Device Treatment of Lower Extremity Lymphedema Elicits Improved Limb Volume and Patient-Reported Outcomes


Authors: Satish C. Muluk, MD, Alan T. Hirsch, MD, and Elise C. Taffe, MD

PublishedEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. 2013; Vol. 46(4): 480–487

PURPOSE:

Examine the effectiveness of an advanced pneumatic compression device (APCD) in reducing limb volume (LV), and to evaluate clinician and patient-reported outcomes.

RESULTS:

Ninety percent of APCD-treated patients experienced a significant reduction in LV with 35% enjoying a reduction >10%. Mean LV reduction was 1,150 mL or 8% (p <.0001). Greater baseline LV and BMI were strong predictors of LV reduction (p <.0001). Clinician assessment indicated that the majority of patients experienced improvement in skin fibrosis and function. Patient-reported outcomes showed a significant increase in ability to control lymphedema through APCD treatment, with an increase in function and a reduction in the interference of pain. Sixty-six percent were “very satisfied” with the APCD treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Advanced pneumatic compression device use is associated with consistent reductions in LV, with favorable patient-reported outcomes. Results demonstrate that reduction in LV and pain, combined with functional improvement and patient satisfaction can be achieved, providing tangible benefits for lower extremity patients.