Interface pressures produced by two different types of lymphedema therapy devices.

Mayrovitz HN.

Phys Ther. 2007 Oct;87(10):1379-88. Epub 2007 Aug 21.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Sequential compression is used to manage lymphedema, but little is known about pressures delivered to the therapeutic targets. This study characterized actual pressures delivered by a traditional compression pump (Lympha Press [LP]) and one using an alternate compression pattern (Flexitouch [FT]). SUBJECTS: Ten adults who were healthy volunteered to participate in the study. METHODS: Pressure-time along the forearm was measured using a 256-pressure sensor array during the pressure cycling of each device. Device assessments were separated by at least 48 hours. RESULTS: Pressure patterns and magnitudes produced by the 2 devices differed considerably. The FT pressure pattern displayed a rapid rise and fall, progressing from the wrist toward the elbow. The LP pressure rose slower and was sustained at a higher level during its inflation cycle. Pressures delivered with the LP were significantly greater than those delivered with the FT. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The pressure patterns and magnitudes on treated limbs depend on the device. These differences should be considered before selecting a device for a specific patient.