Flexitouch – Pneumatic Compression Device Treatment of Lower Extremity Lymphedema Elicits Improved Limb Volume and Patient-reported Outcomes

Author : Satish C. Muluk, MD, Alan T. Hirsch, MD, and Elise C. Taffe, MD

Published : European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. 2013; Vol. 46(4): 480–487

Purpose : Examine the effectiveness of an advanced pneumatic compression device (APCD) in reducing limb volume (LV), and to evaluate clinician and patient-reported outcomes.

Results : 90% of APCD-treated patients experienced a significant reduction in LV with 35% enjoying a reduction >10%. Mean LV reduction was 1,150 mL or 8% (p <.0001). Greater baseline LV and BMI were strong predictors of LV reduction (p <.0001). Clinician assessment indicated that the majority of patients experienced improvement in skin fibrosis and function. Patient-reported outcomes showed a significant increase in ability to control lymphedema through APCD treatment, with an increase in function and a reduction in the interference of pain. 66% were “very satisfied” with the APCD treatment.

Conclusions : APCD use is associated with consistent reductions in LV, with favorable patient-reported outcomes. Results demonstrate that reduction in LV and pain, combined with functional improvement and patient satisfaction can be achieved, providing tangible benefit for lower extremity patients.