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Comparison of the effectiveness of complex decongestive therapy and compression bandaging as a method of treatment of lymphedema in the elderly

Authors Zasadzka E, Trzmiel T, Kleczewska M, Pawlaczyk M

Received 9 December 2017

Accepted for publication 24 February 2018

Published 14 May 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 929—934

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S159380

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Ewa Zasadzka,1 Tomasz Trzmiel,1 Maria Kleczewska,2 Mariola Pawlaczyk1

1Department of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland; 2Day Rehabilitation Center, Hospicjum Palium, Poznań, Poland

Background: Lymphedema is a chronic condition which significantly lowers the quality of patient life, particularly among elderly populations, whose mobility and physical function are often reduced.
Objectives: The aim of the study was to compare the effectiveness of multi-layer compression bandaging (MCB) and complex decongestive therapy (CDT), and to show that MCB is a cheaper, more accessible and less labor intensive method of treating lymphedema in elderly patients.
Patients and methods: The study included 103 patients (85 women and 18 men) aged ≥60 years, with unilateral lower limb lymphedema. The subjects were divided into two groups: 50 treated with CDT and 53 with MCB. Pre- and post-treatment BMI, and average and maximum circumference of the edematous extremities were analyzed.
Results: Reduction in swelling in both groups was achieved after 15 interventions. Both therapies demonstrated similar efficacy in reducing limb volume and circumference, but MCB showed greater efficacy in reducing the maximum circumference.
Conclusion: Compression bandaging is a vital component of CDT. Maximum lymphedema reduction during therapy and maintaining its effect cannot be achieved without it. It also demonstrates its effectiveness as an independent method, which can reduce therapy cost and accessibility.

Keywords: lymphedema, elderly, therapy, compression bandaging

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