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October 1985

Sequential Pneumatic Compression for LymphedemaA Controlled Trial

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Vascular Service, New England Medical Center at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1985;120(10):1116-1119. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390340014002

• We examined prospectively the effect of a new compression device for lymphedema, which utilizes a short duration and high-pressure cycle, that provides a sequential milking pattern to the limb through multiple compartments. Twenty-five patients (seven patients for upper-extremity and 18 for lower-extremity problems) underwent 24 hours of treatment. All extremities showed a decrease in circumferential measurements with the maximal reduction occurring at the wrist (45%) for the upper extremities and at the mid-calf (47%) for the lower extremities. Lower-extremity leg volume was reduced by 45%. Despite the high pressures no elevation in serum muscle enzyme levels was noted. This device reduced lymphedematous limbs rapidly and safely. (Arch Surg 1985;120:1116-1119)