Low-level laser therapy is effective in the management of postmastectomy lymphedema

//Low-level laser therapy is effective in the management of postmastectomy lymphedema

Low-level laser therapy is effective in the management of postmastectomy lymphedema

Photomed Laser Surg. 2009 Oct;27(5):763-9. doi: 10.1089/pho.2008.2330.

Managing postmastectomy lymphedema with low-level laser therapy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to investigate the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in managing postmastectomy lymphedema.

BACKGROUND DATA:

Postmastectomy lymphedema (PML) is a common complication of breast cancer treatment that causes various symptoms, functional impairment, or even psychosocial morbidity. 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 were randomly allocated to receive either 12 sessions of LLLT in 4 wk (the laser group) or no laser irradiation (the control group). Volumetry and tonometry were used to monitor arm volume and tissue resistance; the Disabilities of Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) questionnaire was used for measuring subjective symptoms. 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. At the follow-up session, significant between-group differences (all p < 0.05) were found in arm volume and tissue resistance at the anterior torso and forearm region. 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.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19878027

2018-02-03T21:32:41+00:00December 8th, 2015|Occupational Therapist|0 Comments

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