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Fisioterapia em Movimento

On-line version ISSN 1980-5918


LEAL, Nara Fernanda Braz da Silva; DIAS, Letícia Alves Rios; CARRARA, Hélio Humberto Angotti  and  FERREIRA, Cristine Homsi Jorge. Lymphedema after breast cancer: comparison between two physical therapy techniques - a pilot study. Fisioter. mov. [online]. 2011, vol.24, n.4, pp.647-654. ISSN 1980-5918.

INTRODUCTION: Breast cancer is an illness with physical and psychological important effects. Its treatment forms include axillary dissection sugery. A considerable postoperative consequence is the upper limb lymphedema. The principal therapy of lymphedema is descongestive lymphatic therapy. Electrical stimulation has been applied clinically in reduction of edema. Due to this, it is a new alternative for lymphedema treatment to be studied. OBJECTIVE: To compare the descongestive lymphatic therapy with a protocol that includes electrical stimulation, upper limb exercises and compression by bandages in the reduction of axillary dissection secondary lymphedema. METHOD: twelve volunteers were distributed randomly in the two groups and they were submitted to different treatments (FCD and EAV). The reduction of lymphedema was valued by perimetry and volumetry of upper limb. The interventions were realized twice a week during a period of seven weeks. RESULTS: It did not reach statistic significance in reduction of edema. CONCLUSION: With a small sample of patients, there was no difference between the techniques in reducing lymphedema when applied to the maintenance phase. The time of installation of lymphedema, axillary dissection, sugery and radiotherapy contribute for degree of lymphedema and its treatment. The use of bandages compressive by the patients influences the success of therapy.

Keywords : Breast cancer; Lymphedema; Electrical stimulation; Physiotherapy.

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