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Are compression corsets beneficial for the treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema? New opportunities in physiotherapy treatment – a preliminary report

Authors Hansdorfer-Korzon R, Teodorczyk J, Gruszecka A, Lass P

Received 9 November 2015

Accepted for publication 16 February 2016

Published 7 April 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 2089—2098


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Manfred Beleut

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Rita Hansdorfer-Korzon,1 Jacek Teodorczyk,2 Agnieszka Gruszecka,3 Piotr Lass2,4

1Department of Physiotherapy, 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, 3Department of Informatics and Statistics, 4Department of Molecular Spectroscopy, Institute of Experimental Physics, Gdansk, Poland

Introduction: Treatment of secondary lymphedema still remains an important medical issue. Treatment response is characterized by periodic remission rather than complete recovery. Compression methods currently used as part of complete decongestive therapy vary considerably in efficacy. Manual drainage, bandaging, and compression pumps are ineffective in everyday practice. Positive results have increasingly been reported where compression garments have been used as part of the treatment. This pilot study demonstrates a beneficial effect following the use of compression corsets in the treatment of edema in breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL).
Material: A total of 35 women with BCRL were enrolled. Of these, 29 patients completed the study.
Methods: Ultrasound (B-mode) was used to evaluate lymphedema in the side of the chest after mastectomy. This test was performed three times at a specific site on the operated side and symmetrically on the opposite side. Subsequently, patients were fit with an appropriate compression corset. The data were then statistically analyzed.
Conclusion: After the surgical treatment of breast cancer, lymphatic fluid reservoirs may form at the side of the chest. The use of carefully selected compression corsets is an effective treatment for BCRL. Corsets are an important item, which we recommend should be included in compression clothing sets. We anticipate this finding will form the foundation for further work on the use of modern compression garments for the treatment of BCRL as well as contribute to the limited number of published reports that exist on the subject.

Keywords: lymphedema, breast cancer, physical therapy

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