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Postmastectomy lymphedema

Managing postmastectomy lymphedema with low-level laser therapy.

Lau RW, Cheing GL.

A prospective, single-blinded, controlled clinical trial was conducted to examine the effectiveness of LLLT on managing PML.

METHODS: Twenty-one women suffering from unilateral PML. Outcome measures were assessed before and after the treatment period and at the 4 wk follow-up.

RESULTS: Reduction in arm volume and increase in tissue softening was found in the laser group only. The laser group had a 16% reduction in the arm volume at the end of the treatment period, that dropped to 28% in the follow-up. Moreover, the laser group demonstrated a cumulative increase from 15% to 33% in the tonometry readings over the forearm and anterior torso. The DASH score of the laser group showed progressive improvement over time.

CONCLUSION: LLLT was effective in the management of PML, and the effects were maintained to the 4 wk follow-up.

Clin Rehabil. 2009 Feb;23(2):117-24

 

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