Flexitouch – Interface Pressure Produced by Two Different Types of Lymphedema Therapy Devices

Author : Harvey N. Mayrovitz, PhD

Published : Physical Therapy. 2007; Vol. 87(10): 1379–1388

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) and one using an alternate compression pattern (Flexitouch).

Results : Pressure patterns and magnitudes produced by the 2 devices differed considerably. The Flexitouch pressure pattern displayed rapid rise and fall, progressing from the wrist toward the elbow. The Lympha Press pressure rose slower and was sustained at a higher level during its inflation cycle. Pressures delivered with the Lympha Press were significantly greater than those delivered with the Flexitouch.

Conclusions : 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.