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Laser use in Lymphedema

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 7:01 pm
by waterats
Has anyone used the low level laser in the treatment of lymphedema? I have secondary lymphedema and wanted to know the success rate of those who have used it.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:20 pm
by patoco
Hey Waterrats :)

Super welcome to the family. :!:

I haven't personally used it, but we do have some excellent info regarding the LLL.


Lymphedema Laser Treatment - Sara's Experience ... rience.htm

This is in addition to the info in the forum here.

I did have a chance to have a chat with reps from Rian Corp while attending the NLN convention last week. I have some more info, but it is going to take a few days for me to catch up with everything.

The clinical studies show promise for arm lymphedema and while there have been no studies, in Australia, it has also been used for leg lymphedema.

The laser removes scar tissue from the lymphatics which helps lymph flow and all of us primary and secondary have additional difficulties with lymph flow from scarring, so it will be interresting to watch the progress of this treatment modality.

More later :wink:

Pat O'

Laser for Lymphedema

PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 8:51 pm
by aangel
In the clinical trial for post mastectomy arms, 30% of patients had a very good outcome (200mls reduction). In the trial, the patients ONLY had laser, no bandaging, no massage, no compression.

Reports from therapists are that the laser does work more effectively when used in combination, but there is no clinical data to support this.

If laser is going to be effective for you, you should feel an improvement withint the first 3 treatments, particularly if you have fibrotic areas.

Low Intensity Laser Treatment

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 1:40 pm
by Eldon Dueck
I am in the middle of having laser treatments. I have had lymphedema in my right arm for about 24 years (had Hodgkins Disease in 1982, with lymph node removal and radiation).

I have tried compression sleeves and a pump, but all that did was move it around.

I looked into the Vodder method. It may well be good, but my condition isn't bad enough that I want to spend hours every day at it.

I had a lymphatico-venous anastomosis in 1994 which did work fairly well but the effects were pretty much wiped out bya bad cellulitis infection.

I started laser treatments at the end of October 2006, and it seems to be working. The website for the following link doesn't mention it for lymphedema, but Dr. Kahn, the "guru" in Canada, does provide guidance for his member clinics. Cost is quite reasonable - $55/half hour, and it takes about 20 treatments. is the site for the local one here in BC, but they can refer you to one near where you are.

My arm is softer and is getting noticeably smaller after only two weeks of treatment. It is regaining some shape and definition, and does drain faster when I elevate it.

I'll keep everyone posted. From what I read here, mine is a fairly mild case, but I've had it for a long time, and the laser seems to be working.

Treatment of Lymphedema

PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:02 pm
by aangel
The Bioflex system is cleared by the FDA as a heat generating product. This means that there is no requirement to provide clinical data to FDA at all, the company has merely demonstrated that it can heat tissue. (which is not normally recommended for lymphedema patients).

If an individual is getting results, then thats great. But you need to be aware that this product is not a laser device, but an LED device and not the same as the clinically trialled laser device that is FDA cleared specifically for lymphedema.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 10:50 am
by Noelle
Is laser use only limited to arms and legs, or can it also be used to treat LE in the abdominal area?


laser for lymphedema

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:41 pm
by aangel
FDA has cleared the LTU-904 laser for post mastectomy arms (because that is what the clinical trial covered). Australian therapists treat abdominal lymphedema and breast lymphedema with low level laser and report good results, but there is no clinical trial data specifically for lymphedema in these areas, only case studies.

Research has demonstrated a positive effect on the lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels that are not pumping, do start to pump after laser. (but this is unpublished data)