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Physical therapy in sequelae of iatrogenic manual lymphatic drainage: a case report

Rogério Eduardo Tacani Pascale Mutti Tacani Richard Eloin Liebano About the authors

Recently, the manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is an important resource in the treatment of edemas, lymphedemas, and other unaesthetic conditions. However, problems caused by the incorrect application of this therapy have been observed in the clinical practice. The aims of this case report were to describe sequelae resulting from the negligent application of MLD on a young patient, and to determine the effects of physical therapy on the treatment of sequelae. A 27-year-old Caucasian woman presented with a large ecchymosis (28 x 9.5 cm) on the outer side of the left thigh, telangiectasias, micro varicose veins, and petechiae on the legs and thighs, intense pain, and edema, after undergoing an incorrect manual procedure for aesthetic purposes two days earlier. Physical therapy consisted of ultrasound application (3 MHz, pulsed mode, 20% duty cycle, SATP intensity of 0.4 W/cm²) to the ecchymosis site and MLD (Leduc method) for 20 minutes on the left thigh. The patient underwent nine physical therapy sessions until discharge from the hospital 16 days after injury. The effectiveness of physiotherapy intervention was verified in only some of the consequences caused by iatrogenic, without disregarding that the spontaneous remission of signs symptoms can have contributed to such fact. The study emphasizes the importance of awareness among physical therapists who work with this procedure to apply it appropriately in order to avoid such conditions.

Lymphatic system; massage; iatrogenic disease; ultrasonic therapy; esthetics

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