Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Blood Circulation of Upper Limb With Lymphedema After Breast Cancer Surgery

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Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to assess blood flow after manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) in women who had received surgery for breast cancer and had post–axillary lymphadenectomy lymphedema.

Methods:

Sixteen volunteers (mean age 64 ± 11.44 years) were divided into 2 groups. Those in group 1 received MLD without upper limb elevation, and those in group 2 received MLD with elevation of 30° of the upper limb. Blood flow velocity of the brachial vein and artery were measured using Doppler ultrasound before, immediately after, and 30 minutes after MLD, with and without 30° of upper limb elevation as defined by a random crossover design and an interval (washout) of 7 days. Comparison of data before and after MLD was evaluated by the Friedman test.

Results:

There was a significant increase of blood flow velocity in the brachial vein after the therapeutic procedure with upper limb elevation. However, after 30 minutes the data returned to the pretreatment value.

Conclusion:

This preliminary study indicated that MLD promoted increased brachial vein velocity flow in the short term.

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