Intermittent pneumatic compression pump in upper extremity impairments of breast cancer-related lymphedema

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Uzkeser H., KARATAY S.

Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences, vol.43, no.1, pp.99-103, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.3906/sag-1203-78
  • Journal Name: Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.99-103
  • Keywords: Lymphedema, Manual lymph drainage, Pneumatic compression, Rehabilitation, Upper limb
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


Aim: To investigate the effect of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) pumps on upper extremity impairments in breast cancerrelated lymphedema. Materials and methods: Twenty-five patients with lymphedema were randomized into 2 groups. For 3 weeks, the pneumatic compression group (n = 12) underwent a treatment program including skin care, compression bandage, exercise therapy, manual lymph drainage (MLD), and IPC. The control group (n = 13) participated in the same program, but without IPC. The range of motion (ROM) of the upper extremities was measured with goniometry, and dysfunction of the shoulder was assessed with the Constant-Murley scale. Results: Significant improvements were observed in the ROM of the shoulder when we evaluated pre- and posttreatment values within both groups, and the improvements were still significant at 1-month follow-up. Likewise, we found significant differences in the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Constant-Murley scores in both groups when we compared pre-treatment and posttreatment values, and significant differences were still present at 1-month follow-up. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in the upper limb's ROM, the VAS, or the Constant-Murley scale after the therapy or at the 1-month follow-up. Conclusion: Upper extremity impairments may improve with conservative treatment of lymphedema. However, the addition of IPC to the therapy may not provide any additional benefit for upper extremity impairments. © TÜBİTAK.