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LYMPHEDEMA LASER TREATMENT

Laser Treatment for Lymphedema

Another new frontier in the treatment of lymphedema involves using the laser. From various trials lasers appear to help liquid viscosity (helping lymph flow), shown to be effective improvement of wound healing, has helped remove port stains in the Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome (a lymphatic development disorder), and it has been used effectively in treating edema from deep venous thrombosis.

Great progress has been made recently and the FDA has actually approved a laser device to be used in the treatment of post-mastectomy arm lymphedema.  Clinical trial are currently underway for leg lymphedema.  

Lymphedema and its complications can causing "scarring" of the lymphatic system.  The scarring adds to the swelling and in itself leads to other complications.  The laser is useful in clearing out (removing) the scar tissue, thereby helping lymph flow.

Pat O'Connor

June 22, 2008

Listed below are our pages regarding lasers, low level lasers, laser workshops, patient experiences and discussions:

Laser Treatment

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_laser_treatment.htm

Laser Treatment - Sara's Experience

 http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_laser_treatment_saras_experience.htm

Low Level Laser

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=114

Laser Workshops Information

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=781

FDA Clears Laser-Based Lymphedema Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=702

Laser Use in Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=729

Basic Information about Laser therapy and lymphedema

About laser therapy: lymphedema

The light frequency most used for laser in lymphedema therapy is 904 nanometers (nm). Light within this spectrum is invisible to the naked eye.

Laser is amplified light running in parallel lines which at certain frequencies has the potential to stimulate beneficial secondary reactions in the body. Information contained in clinical trials by Dr. Neil Pillar in Adelaide, Australia have shown laser therapy can assist with lymphedema control.

Laser is not a magic cure for  lymphedema
For your information; From practical experience and statistical information laser therapy is best when used with other lymphatic drainage therapies. It is not a magic cure to control lymphedema. 

What laser has the potential to do for lymphedema
Laser will assist in improving lymphatic flow and softening hard fibrotic tissues. This in turn normally will help to reduce the associated swelling of lymphedema.

Laser normally works faster with arm lymphedema than with leg lymphedema.

The results of laser therapy can be truly amazing. Some people respond quickly after just one 60 minute session. With other people it may take many applications to have a similar effect and provide the desired result. 

Recorded information and statistics indicate Laser treatment is ongoing. If no other therapy is concurrently combined into a lymphedema treatment regimen, then laser therapy is often required every 2-3 weeks for a one hour session. 

Given the  requirement of ongoing treatment it becomes cost effective to purchase a hand held laser for self administration or share among 3 or 4 people living nearby suburbs where the laser may be used at home.

Laser therapy for treating lymphedema works best when combined with Complex Physical (lymphatic) Therapy (CPT).  CPT consists of lymphatic drainage massage, self massage,  compression bandaging, compression garments, skin care and eating the best choice foods to promote lymphatic health with dietary considerations. 

Types of laser

There are two types of laser used in the treatment of lymphoedema:  handheld lasers and scanning lasers. 

Scanning lasers are most often used in hospitals. Handheld lasers are used in hospitals, clinics, and by patients themselves at home. The most common lasers used for lymphoedema therapy are handheld laser units.

The average time taken for lymphoedema treatment using a handheld laser or a scanning laser is of one hour duration. Laser therapy is applied in a selective pattern matched to each persons needs. By doing this the best lymphoedema therapy treatment may be effected. 

Laser models and availability will vary from country to country. Development costs, regulations, taxes, duties, equipment and delivery charges are subtly different and impact on the final prices.

Laser therapy can help make your lymphoedema treatment simpler and easier to administer. If you are able to fit a laser into your budget, then by following a few easy steps and doing a little short regular laser therapy at home you can save you many hours of  waiting for someone else to ‘fix’ your lymphoedema problem. 

The life expectancy of a handheld laser based on practical use daily use in a clinic situation is 10 years +

Poppy Lane Skin Care & Lymphoedema Clinic

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Treatment of post-mastectomy lymphedema with laser therapy: double blind placebo control randomized study.

Jan. 2011

Ahmed Omar MT, Abd-El-Gayed Ebid A, El Morsy AM.

Source

Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo, Egypt. Dr.Taher_M@Yahoo.Com

Abstract


BACKGROUND:

In post-mastectomy patients, lymphedema has the potential to become a permanent progressive condition and become extremely resistant to treatment. Thus, it can results in function impairment and decrease quality of life. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of low level laser therapy (LLLT) on limb volume, shoulder mobility, and hand grip strength.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

Fifty women with breast cancer-related lymphedema were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Patients were randomly assigned to active laser (n = 25) and placebo (n = 25) groups and received irradiation with Ga-As laser device that had wavelength of 904 nm, power of 5 mW, and spot size of 0.2 cm(2) over the axillary and arm areas, three times a week for 12 wk. The total energy applied at each point was 300 mjoules over seven points, giving a dosage of 1.5 joules/cm(2) in the active group. The placebo group received placebo therapy in which the laser had been disabled without affecting its apparent function. Limb circumference, shoulder mobility, and grip strength were measured before treatment and at 4, 8, and 12 wk.

RESULTS:

The two groups had similar parameters at baseline. The reduction of limb volume tended to decline in both groups. The trend being more significantly pronounced in active LLLT group than placebo at 8 and 12 wk, respectively (P < 0.05). Goniometric data for shoulder mobility and hand grip strength were statistically significance for LLLT group than for placebo.

CONCLUSION:

Laser treatment was found to be effective in reducing the limb volume, increase shoulder mobility, and hand grip strength in approximately 93% of patients with postmastectomy lymphedema.

http://www.journalofsurgicalresearch.com/article/S0022-4804(10)00247-7/abstract

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Randomised, Double Blinded, Placebo Controlled, Crossover Trial Determining the Effect of Treating Post-Mastectomy Lymphoedema with LTU-904H Laser Therapy.

INTRODUCTION

Upper limb Lymphoedema is a common and distressing complication of breast cancer surgery(1). Reported incidence after surgery is around 5%, increasing to 30% with administration of adjunctive radiotherapy(1,2).

Untreated the condition often gradually worsens and a hardening of the superficial fascia (brawny oedema) often occurs. Patient discomfort is common with symptoms of limb heaviness and weakness, pain, restricted shoulder mobility, burning pains and elevated skin temperature, obvious swollen limb disfigurement, social isolation and psychological morbidity(3).

Traditional treatments for this condition have included compression bandaging, manual lymphatic drainage and extended limb elevation(4). Due to the nature of these treatments none have been validated with placebo controlled trials. Also a number of issues exist – these treatments are expensive, time consuming and labour intensive.

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) has been trialed for the treatment of fibrous scar tissue(6) and has been shown to affect fibroblasts(7). These effects are important both in treating surgical scars associated with post-mastectomy lymphoedema and in treating the brawny oedema that often develops in lymphoedematous limbs. As well as this there is some evidence that LLLT encourages lymphogenesis and stimulates lymphatic motoricity(8,9). Finally LLLT is seen to affect macrophage cells(10) and to stimulate the immune system. All of these actions indicate that LLLT would be an appropriate treatment for post-mastectomy lymphoedema.

This trial has been approved by the Flinders Medical Centre Ethics Committee. 

SAFETY

The LTU-904 is a class 1 laser and therefore no additional safety procedures are required (ASNZ 4672).

METHODS

This was a prospective, double blinded, placebo controlled, randomised, crossover trial investigating the effectiveness of LTU-904H Therapy as a treatment for post- mastectomy lymphoedema. All patients currently attending, or newly presenting to, the Flinders Medical Centre Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic were considered for entry into the trial. A standard procedure was used to screen patients for inclusion. The following criteria had to be met before a patient was entered into the trial. 

INCLUSION CRITERIA

Age – at least 18 years. Sex – female only. Diagnosis – clinically manifest Post-Mastectomy Lymphoedema (>200ml difference between arms or ³ 2cm difference in arm circumference at ³ 3 positions). Administrative -  the patient understood the trial and was able to provide informed consent.

EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Presence of certain comorbidities – current metastases, history of severe trauma / disruptive surgery to the arm. Instability of condition – significant changes to the arm in the past 3 months including, change in treatment regime or occurrence of cellulitis. Clinical – inability to abduct arm sufficient for measuring purposes. Diagnosis – presence of primary Lymphoedema in the lower limbs.

TREATMENT REGIME

Treatment was delivered in blocks where 1 treatment block of consists of therapy (active or placebo) 3 times per week for 3 weeks. Each treatment session took 17 minutes and is described below.

A grid designed to sit in the axilla (armpit) with treatment points marked at 2cm intervals guided application. Each treatment point was treated for 1 minute and there were a total of 17 points. The laser was held in contact with, and at right angles to, the skin. The average output of the LTU-904H is 5 mW, thus the total energy applied was 5.1 Joules at a dosage of 1.53 Joules per square centimetre. Treatment head size 0.2cm2.

Participants were randomly allocated into either the active or placebo group. Those participants entering the active group received 2 blocks of LTU-904H therapy, separated by an 8 week break. The placebo group received 1 block of sham therapy, followed by an 8 week break, then 1 block of LTU-904H therapy. Thus those in the active group received a total of 6 weeks of active therapy while those in the placebo group received 3 weeks of active therapy.

PATIENT ASSESSMENT

Participants were assessed on a number of subjective and objective criteria.

Subjective. Participants were asked about their ability to perform specific activities of daily living, their quality of life as well as being asked to rate their symptoms on a scale of 1 – 10. The symptoms included were: pain, tightness, heaviness, pins and needles, cramps, burning feelings, limb size difference, limb temperature difference and range of movement limitation. The subjective questionnaire was administered before and after each 3 week treatment block and at each follow-up visit.

Objective. Objective measures were as follows. Bio-impedance: measures Ohmic resistance to electrical current thereby giving an extremely accurate representation of extra-cellular fluid levels within the limb. (ECF) Perometry: uses infrared sensors to measure the limb circumference at every 4 mm’s, giving extremely accurate volume measures. Tonometry: measures tissue resisitance to pressure thereby giving an indication of the extent of fibrotic induration in a limb. Shoulder range of movement and body mass index were also monitored. Objective measures were taken at the start of every visit.

Tonometry is used to measure the amount of fibrotic induration in the tissues. We found that the tonometry readings were significantly softer in the active group than the placebo group, in the posterior thorax (treated and untreated) and in the upper arm on the treated side.

Subjective results showed statistically significant decreases in:

·        pain

·        tightness

·        heaviness

·        cramps

·        limb temperature difference

·        size difference between the limbs

·        pins and needles.

(however, not significantly different to placebo group)

SAFETY

The LTU-904 is a class 1 laser and therefore no additional safety procedures are required (ASNZ 4672).

METHODS

This was a prospective, double blinded, placebo controlled, randomised, crossover trial investigating the effectiveness of LTU-904H Therapy as a treatment for post- mastectomy lymphoedema. All patients currently attending, or newly presenting to, the Flinders Medical Centre Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic were considered for entry into the trial. A standard procedure was used to screen patients for inclusion. The following criteria had to be met before a patient was entered into the trial. 

INCLUSION CRITERIA

Age – at least 18 years. Sex – female only. Diagnosis – clinically manifest Post-Mastectomy Lymphoedema (>200ml difference between arms or ³ 2cm difference in arm circumference at ³ 3 positions). Administrative -  the patient understood the trial and was able to provide informed consent.

EXCLUSION CRITERIA

Presence of certain comorbidities – current metastases, history of severe trauma / disruptive surgery to the arm. Instability of condition – significant changes to the arm in the past 3 months including, change in treatment regime or occurrence of cellulitis. Clinical – inability to abduct arm sufficient for measuring purposes. Diagnosis – presence of primary Lymphoedema in the lower limbs.

SIDE EFFECTS

No significant side effects were reported during the trial. A few participants reported a slight increase in pain, or a feeling of tightness in the upper arm but overall there was no difference between reporting of side effects in active versus placebo groups.

RESULTS

In all, 64 participants completed the trial, 37 were given active LTU-904H laser therapy and 27 received placebo treatment.

Objective results include Bioimpedance ECF, whole arm volume and tonometry.

ECF was significantly reduced following 6 weeks of LTU-904 therapy, in the following regions

·        the affected arm (immediately after the course of treatment and maintained at 1 and 3 month follow-up)

·        the trunk (immediately after the course of treatment and maintained at 1 month follow-up) AND

·        the unaffected arm (immediately after treatment).

52% of participants experienced a clinically significant decrease in ECF after 6 weeks of active laser. In contrast only 19% of people who had placebo treatment achieved the same reduction.

Volume of the affected arm was reduced by a minimum of 200mls in 31% of participants, 3 months after receiving 6 weeks of active LTU-904H therapy, as opposed to 4% of those who received placebo treatment.  Of the patients who received three weeks of laser treatment 17% showed more than 200mls reduction three months after treatment.

CONCLUSION

The LTU-904H 2

One to three months after treatment. 

The results suggest a systemic effect of LTU-904H therapy.

REFERENCES

(1)      Browning C. Lymphoedema: prevalence, risk factors and management: a review of research. Sydney: NHMRC National Breast Cancer Centre, 1997.

(2)      Petrek JA, Heelan MC. Incidence of breast carcinoma-related lymphoedema. American Cancer Society 83 (1998), 2776-2781.

(3)      Tobin MB, Lacey HJ, Meyer L, Mortimer PS. The psychological morbidity of breast-cancer related arm swelling. Psychological morbidity of lymphoedema. Cancer 72 (1993), 3248-3252.

(4)      Foldi E, Foldi M, Weissleder H. Conservative treatment of lymphoedema of the limbs. Angiology (1985), 171-180.

(6)      Thelander A, Piller NB. Post surgical oedema treated by low level scanning laser. Third Australasian Lymphology Association Conference (2000), 129-132.

(7)      Street J. HeNe Laser stimulation of human fibroblast prolifration and attachment in vitro. Institue of Ophthamology, London (1998), 130-134.

(8)      Lievens PC. The effect of combined HeNe and I.R. laser treatment on the regeneration of the lymphatic system during the process of wound healing. Lasers in Medical Science 6 (1991), 193-199.

(9)      Lievens PC. The influence of laser-irradiation on the motoricity of the lymphatical system and on the wound healing process. International Congress on Laser in Medicine and Surgery (1985), 171-174.

Young S, Bolton P, Dyson M, Harvey W, Diamantopoulos C. Marcophage responsiveness to light therapy. Lasers in Surgery and Medicine 9

Link no longer available

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Low-level laser therapy in management of postmastectomy lymphedema

2006

Ahmad Kaviani1, 4 , Mohsen Fateh2, Reza Yousefi Nooraie2, Mohammad-reza Alinagi-zadeh3 and Leila Ataie-Fashtami2

(1)  Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Iranian Center for Medical Laser Research, Tehran, Iran
(2)  Iranian Center for Medical Laser Research, Academic Center for Education, Culture & Research (ACECR), Tehran, Iran
(3)  Research Center for Science and Technology in Medicine (RCSTM), Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran
(4)  Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Imam Medical Center, Dr. Gharib Ave., Keshavarz Blvd., Tehran, Iran

Received: 10 October 2005  Revised: 3 November 2005  Accepted: 13 March 2006  Published online: 4 May 2006

Abstract  The aim of this paper was to study the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the treatment of postmastectomy lymphedema. Eleven women with unilateral postmastectomy lymphedema were enrolled in a double-blind controlled trial. Patients were randomly assigned to laser and sham groups and received laser or placebo irradiation (Ga–As laser device with a wavelength of 890 nm and fluence of 1.5 J/cm2) over the arm and axillary areas. Changes in patients’ limb circumference, pain score, range of motion, heaviness of the affected limb, and desire to continue the treatment were measured before the treatment and at follow-up sessions (weeks 3, 9, 12, 18, and 22) and were compared to pretreatment values. Results showed that of the 11 enrolled patients, eight completed the treatment sessions. Reduction in limb circumference was detected in both groups, although it was more pronounced in the laser group up to the end of 22nd week. Desire to continue treatment at each session and baseline score in the laser group was greater than in the sham group in all sessions. Pain reduction in the laser group was more than in the sham group except for the weeks 3 and 9. No substantial differences were seen in other two parameters between the two treatment groups. In conclusion, despite our encouraging results, further studies of the effects of LLLT in management of postmastectomy lymphedema should be undertaken to determine the optimal physiological and physical parameters to obtain the most effective clinical response.

Keywords  LLLT - Postmastectomy lymphedema - Breast cancer

SpringerLink

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Laser May Reduce Arm Swelling After Mastectomy

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The zap of a low-level laser seems to
relieve some cases of chronic swelling in the arm that often occurs
after a mastectomy, new research suggests

In a study, swelling diminished significantly in nearly a third of
women who received laser treatment for the condition, known as
lymphedema. "It's not a quick fix, but it does seem to help in some
people and is not invasive," Dr. Colin J. Carati, the study's lead
author, told Reuters Health"Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive
condition for which there are few effective treatment options,"
explained Carati, who is at Flinders University in Adelaide,
Australia.

Low-level laser treatment has proved effective in improving wound
healing and scarring, "so we decided to give it a try in
lymphedema," he explained.

In the trial, 61 women who had had a mastectomy were randomly
assigned to receive one or two cycles of laser therapy or a sham
therapy using a disabled laser.

Laser therapy did not have an immediate effect on symptoms, but 2 to
3 months later, women who had undergone two cycles of laser therapy
were more likely to have experienced improvements than women given
the sham treatment, the researchers report in the journal Cancer.
Swelling was reduced in about 31 percent of women in the laser
group.

Women who had undergone two cycles of laser therapy also had softer
skin on their upper arm than women treated with the disabled laser.
Hardening of the skin is an effect of lymphedema.

Despite the reduction in swelling, laser therapy did not seem to
improve the range of movement in the arm, according to the report.
Also, there was no significant difference between the groups in
quality of life and the ability to perform daily activities.

Exactly how low-level lasers may relieve lymphedema remains a
mystery, according to Carati. One possibility, he said, is that the
laser has an effect at a cellular level, "possibly encouraging cells
to work harder."

According to the Australian researcher, lasers are rarely used to
treat lymphedema outside of Australia. The treatment is under
consideration by the U.S. Food and Drug and Administration, however,
he said.

The study was funded by an Australian government grant to Flinders
University and RIAN Corporation, which makes the laser used in the
study.

SOURCE: Cancer, September 15, 2003

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Laser Treatment of Lymphoedema

Abstract presented at NIH Meeting on Lymphoedema, May 2002 and at 4th World Congress of Laser Therapy, Japan June 2002

Keywords  LLLT - Postmastectomy lymphedema - Breast cancer

SN Anderson 1, NB Piller 1, CJ Carati 2, A Esterman 3, A Angel 4 and BJ Gannon2

1 Department of Public Health, Flinders University
2 Department of Anatomy & Histology, Flinders University
3 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Flinders University
4 Rian Corp Adelaide, Australia.

We report a randomised, placebo controlled, double blind, crossover trial to determine the clinical efficacy of treating post-mastectomy lymphoedema (PML) with Low Level Laser Therapy (LTU-904H, RianCorp Pty Ltd, Australia).

Participants in an 'active group' were treated (Rx) three times per week for 3 weeks, 8 weeks interval, then a 2nd 3 weeks Rx. The 'placebo group' received placebo for the 1st 3 weeks, an 8 week break, then active Rx in the 2nd 3 weeks. Patient follow up occurred at 1 and 3 months after cessation of Rx. Participants were treated using a 2cm2 treatment grid of 17 points in the axilla of the affected arm (total energy delivered: 5.1 Joules in 17min, Energy Density: 1.53J/cm2). Outcomes were measured by volume measurements, tonometry bio-impedance, Range of Movement (ROM), and subjective self-reported measures.

Bio-impedance showed significant sustained improvements in extracellular fluid content within the treated group (n=37) in the affected arm, trunk and in the unaffected arm. Mean affected limb volume reduction was 59.2ml in the active group at 1month post Rx, compared with 4.9ml after placebo, but this was not significant; power analysis predicted statistical significance between groups with an additional sample size of 15. 22.9% of participants in the active group showed a clinically significant reduction (>5% ~180 ml) in affected arm volume at 1 month follow-up, compared with only 3.6% in the placebo group (p=0.05). Tonometry changes were significantly different between the active and placebo groups in the posterior thorax, and affected upper arm, but not in the affected forearm. Subjective measurements showed significant improvements in most measures between the initial visit and the end of 2nd block of Rx, but these were not significantly different to the placebo group 

Link no longer available

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Lymphoedema and Laser Therapy

LaserWorld Guest Editorial, 6 1999.

By Ann Thelander A.U.A. (Dipl. Physio), M.A.P.A. Mitcham Rehab Clinic 9 Princes Road Kingswood S.A 5062, 

Australia

Lymphoedema develops in people born with inadequate lymphatic systems which have difficulty transporting the lymphatic load. This can be from hypoplasia (not enough vessels or nodes), and what they have does not work very well. This is primary lymphoedema and tends to be genetically inherited. A secondary form of lymphoedema is more common in which the lymphatic system has been damaged by surgery or radiotherapy or other trauma. The trauma of removal of varicose veins or other veins for heart surgery can lead to overload of the previously normal lymphatic system. Spider bites from several spiders can lead to lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema is a progressive condition with four main characteristics (1):

  1. excessive protein in the tissues
  2. excessive fluid in the tissues (both intra and extracellular fluid)
  3. excessive deposition of fibrous tissue
  4. chronic inflammatory reactions.

The excess fluid and fibre are immediately under the skin and well within the reach of the laser beam. New lymph vessels cannot grow through scar tissue or fibrosed tissues. Following laser therapy there is a softening of the tissues and reduction in the fluid. New lymph vessels can grow (2). The limbs do not reduce in size until there is softening.

The excess fluid and fibre are immediately under the skin and well within the reach of the laser beam. New lymph vessels cannot grow through scar tissue or fibrosed tissues. Following laser therapy there is a softening of the tissues and reduction in the fluid. New lymph vessels can grow (2). The limbs do not reduce in size until there is softening.

In 1993 a pilot study was undertaken to determine the effect of laser therapy in large post mastectomy arms of 4 or more years duration. (3). This trial found that the arms responded well to laser therapy - there was reduction in the amount of oedema and the volume of extracellular fluid as measured by bioimpedence, the tissues became softer as measured by tonometry and the patients perceived an improvement in symptoms of bursting pains, tightness, heaviness, cramps, pins and needles, mobility and limb circumference. The arms lost a mean 19.7% collectively during the 16 treatments and we then continued to measure them and a further loss of 7% occurred over the following 6 months. During this 6 months there was no treatment of any kind and they did not wear support sleeves.

With improved measuring techniques (perometry, tonometry, and bioimpedence and sometimes lymphoscintigraphy) we can detect areas of fibrosis and blockages and can target these areas with the laser, to get better results. In the trial all the patients had identical treatment.

The current assessment and treatment used at Mitcham Rehab Clinic and The Lymphoedema Assessment Clinic at Flinders Surgical Oncology Clinic at Flinders Medical Centre is a full assessment of external measurements, volume and circumference at 200 positions using the Perometer. The resistancce of the tissues to compression is measured by the tonometer. Bioimpedence shows the fat, fluid (intra and extracellular) and fibre in the tissues. Measurements are taken on both arms or both legs. Subjective information on heaviness, cramps, pins and needles and range of movement are all recorded.
Laser therapy then targets the areas of blockage or fibrosis starting over the chest wall and axilla and moving distally in the arm or, for the leg, lymphoedema abdominal scars and the inguinal region are treated first and then progress distally. Fifty minutes of scanning laser precedes an hour of Complex Physical Therapy - massage.

The laser used is a Space M3 with an output of 9 mW He Ne at 832.8 nm and peak power of 4 x 27mW GaAs at 904 nm scanning laser which covers an area of 20 x 30 cm. The energy density was 2-4 J per cm2.

Interesting Observations

Most of the patients with lymphoedema feel the effect of the laser at the time of treatment - what they feel is pulsing in the limb distal to where the laser is shining. Several people with whole body primary lymphoedema can feel pulsing in their face or arms while the laser is on their leg, proving the generallized stimulating effect on the whole lymphatic system in an under active lymphatic system.

Lymphoedema patients tend to get skin infections like cellulitis which often requires hospitalization, but following laser and massage their tissues become healthier (less fibre and fluid) and their rate of infection drops dramatically.

A few people - about 7 out of over 700 treated with laser for lymphoedema have suffered a reaction - overdose. They all describe themselves are sensitive and cannot take drugs, even non prescription drugs. Several had drastic reactions to Radiotherapy. The reaction these people have had is feeling very tired and sleepy for 24 hours after the laser. On subsequent treatments the laser power level has been reduced considerably and they get a normal treatment effect with no sleepiness. Could this effect be from stimulating light sensitive areas that regulate the body's clock as described in Newscientist?(5).

An exciting reaction we found when a 43 year old woman who developed lymphoedema of the face neck and left arm following surgery and 2 courses of radiotherapy for cancer of the thyroid 9 years before (6). Her vocal cords were badly affected by the radiotherapy and for 9 years she could not talk but only whisper. She could not use the phone and working at a whisper was tiring and difficult. After the first treatment of laser to her neck she could talk!! After 10 treatments she could start speech therapy and sing a little. She now speaks normally and her lymphoedema has reduced considerably.

References.

  1. Piller N B (1994): The Management and Treatment of Lymphoedemas. Journal of the National Womens¹ Health Group, Australian Physiotherapy Association, Volume 13, page 17 - 25
  2. Lievens P (1987):The Influence of Laser Treatment on the Lymphatic System and Wound Healing. Medical Laser Report 5/6 Torino, Italy, p 29-31.
  3. Piller N B, Thelander A (1995): Treating Chronic Post Mastectomy Lymphoedema with LLLT: a Cost Effective Strategy to Reduce Severity and Improve the Quality of Survival. Laser Therapy Vol 7 No 4 p163-168

http://www.laser.nu/lllt/lllt_editorial3.htm

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Laser to Reduce Swelling of Lymphedema

http://www.annieappleseedproject.org/lastoredswel.html


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Laser Treatment - Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome

http://dermatology.cdlib.org/94/NYU/Nov2002/8.html


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Laser Treatment for Edema due to clogged leg arteries

http://mednews.stanford.edu/releases/1997/augreleases/szuba.html

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Lymphoedema & Laser Therapy

Lymphoedema & Laser Therapy
286 Greenhill Road
Glenside, South Australia, 5065

Telephone: (08) 8338 6300
Facsimile: (08) 8338 6200

Email: info@lympholaser.com.au

http://www.lympholaser.com.au/

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Laser Therapy for Lymphedema

The laser used produces light energy at two particular wavelengths. This light penetrates the tissues to 3½ centimetres and is absorbed by the cells. This light has a stimulating effect on the tissues.

Laser Therapy (using a scanning laser) helps Lymphedema by:

• Softening scar tissue
• Softening hardened fibrosed areas
• Stimulating the lymph vessels to pump faster
• Stimulating the growth of new lymph vessels and thereby increasing the drainage of the limb
• Reducing pain

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Index of articles of LYMPHEDEMA TREATMENT OPTIONS

Lymphedema Treatment Options

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_treatment_options_revised.htm

Acupuncture Treatment

 http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_acupuncture_treatment.htm

Benzopyrones Treatment

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_benzopyrones_treatmen.htm

Compression Pumps for Lymphedema Treatment

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=compression_pumps_for_lymphedema_treatment

Manual Lymphatic Drainage, MLD; Comprehensive Decongestive Therapy, CDT

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=manual_lymphatic_drainage_mld_complex_decongestive_therapy_cdt

Diuretics are not for Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=diuretics_are_not_for_lymphedema

Endermologie Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_endermologie_therapy.htm

Kinesiology Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_kinesiology_therapy.htm

Laser Treatment

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_laser_treatment.htm

Laser Treatment - Sara's Experience

 http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_laser_treatment_saras_experience.htm

Low Level Laser

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=114

Laser Workshops Information

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=781

FDA Clears Laser-Based Lymphedema Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=702

Laser Use in Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=729

Liposuction Treatment

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=liposuction

Reflexology Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_reflexology_therapy.htm

Lymphedema Surgeries

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_surgeries.htm

Lymphedema Treatments are Poorly Utilized

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_treatments_are_poorly_utilized.htm

Lymphedema Treatment Programs Canada

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_treatment_programs_canada.htm

Wholistic Treatment

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_wholistic_treatment.htm

Microsurgeries

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_microsurgery.htm

Homeopathy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_homeopathy.htm

Short Stretch Bandages for Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=short_stretch_bandages_for_lymphedema

Compression Bandages for Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=compression_bandages_for_lymphedema

Compression Garments and Stockings for Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=compression_garments_stockings_for_lymphedema

Farrow Wrap

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=farrow_wrap

Aromatherapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_aromatherapy.htm

Magnetic Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_magnetic_therapy.htm

Mesotherapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=mesotherapy

Light Beam Generator Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_light_beam_generator_therapy.htm

Lymphobiology

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_lymphobiology.htm

Kinesio Taping (R)

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/thesite/lymphedema_and_kinesio_taping.htm

Deep Oscillation Therapy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=deep_oscillation_therapy

Aqua Therapy for Postsurgical Breast Cancer Arm Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=aqua_therapy_for_postsurgical_breast_cancer_arm_lymphedema

Aqua Therapy in Managing Lower Extremity Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=aqua_therapy_in_managing_lower_extremity_lymphedema

Bioimpedance and Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=bioimpedance_and_lymphedema

Lymph Node Transplant

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymph_node_transplant

Lymph Vessel Transplant

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymph_vessel_transplant

Lymphedema People Forum on Treatment Information for Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=8

===========================

Join us as we work for lymphedema patients everywhere:

Advocates for Lymphedema

Dedicated to be an advocacy group for lymphedema patients. Working towards education, legal reform, changing insurance practices, promoting research, reaching for a cure.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AdvocatesforLymphedema/

Subscribe: AdvocatesforLymphedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Pat O'Connor

Lymphedema People / Advocates for Lymphedema

===========================

For information about Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema\

For Information about Lymphedema Complications

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=complications_of_lymphedema

For Lymphedema Personal Stories

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=3

For information about How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=how_to_treat_a_lymphedema_wound

For information about Lymphedema Treatment 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=treatment

For information about Exercises for Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=exercises_for_lymphedema

For information on Infections Associated with Lymphedema

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=infections_associated_with_lymphedema

For information on Lymphedema in Children

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_in_children

Lymphedema Glossary

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=glossary:listing

===========================

Lymphedema People - Support Groups

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Children with Lymphedema

The time has come for families, parents, caregivers to have a support group of their own. Support group for parents, families and caregivers of chilren with lymphedema. Sharing information on coping, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Sponsored by Lymphedema People.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/childrenwithlymphedema/

Subscribe: childrenwithlymphedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


......................

Lipedema Lipodema Lipoedema

No matter how you spell it, this is another very little understood and totally frustrating conditions out there. This will be a support group for those suffering with lipedema/lipodema. A place for information, sharing experiences, exploring treatment options and coping.

Come join, be a part of the family!

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/lipedema_lipodema_lipoedema/?yguid=209645515

Subscribe: lipedema_lipodema_lipoedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

......................

MEN WITH LYMPHEDEMA

If you are a man with lymphedema; a man with a loved one with lymphedema who you are trying to help and understand come join us and discover what it is to be the master instead of the sufferer of lymphedema.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/menwithlymphedema/

Subscribe: menwithlymphedema-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

......................

All About Lymphangiectasia

Support group for parents, patients, children who suffer from all forms of lymphangiectasia. This condition is caused by dilation of the lymphatics. It can affect the intestinal tract, lungs and other critical body areas.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/allaboutlymphangiectasia/

Subscribe: allaboutlymphangiectasia-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

......................

Lymphatic Disorders Support Group @ Yahoo Groups

While we have a number of support groups for lymphedema... there is nothing out there for other lymphatic disorders. Because we have one of the most comprehensive information sites on all lymphatic disorders, I thought perhaps, it is time that one be offered.

DISCRIPTION

Information and support for rare and unusual disorders affecting the lymph system. Includes lymphangiomas, lymphatic malformations, telangiectasia, hennekam's syndrome, distichiasis, Figueroa
syndrome, ptosis syndrome, plus many more. Extensive database of information available through sister site Lymphedema People.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/lymphaticdisorders/

Subscribe: lymphaticdisorders-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

===========================

Lymphedema People New Wiki Pages

Have you seen our new “Wiki” pages yet?  Listed below are just a sample of the more than 140 pages now listed in our Wiki section. We are also working on hundred more.  Come and take a stroll! 

Lymphedema Glossary 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=glossary:listing 

Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema 

Arm Lymphedema  

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=arm_lymphedema 

Leg Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=leg_lymphedema 

Acute Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=acute_lymphedema 

The Lymphedema Diet 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=the_lymphedema_diet 

Exercises for Lymphedema  

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=exercises_for_lymphedema 

Diuretics are not for Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=diuretics_are_not_for_lymphedema 

Lymphedema People Online Support Groups 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_people_online_support_groups 

Lipedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lipedema 

Treatment 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=treatment 

Lymphedema and Pain Management 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_and_pain_management 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT)

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=manual_lymphatic_drainage_mld_complex_decongestive_therapy_cdt 

Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=infections_associated_with_lymphedema 

How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=how_to_treat_a_lymphedema_wound 

Fungal Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=fungal_infections_associated_with_lymphedema 

Lymphedema in Children 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_in_children 

Lymphoscintigraphy 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphoscintigraphy 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=magnetic_resonance_imaging 

Extraperitoneal para-aortic lymph node dissection (EPLND) 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=extraperitoneal_para-aortic_lymph_node_dissection_eplnd 

Axillary node biopsy 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=axillary_node_biopsy

Sentinel Node Biopsy 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=sentinel_node_biopsy

 Small Needle Biopsy - Fine Needle Aspiration 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=small_needle_biopsy 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=magnetic_resonance_imaging 

Lymphedema Gene FOXC2

 http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_gene_foxc2

 Lymphedema Gene VEGFC

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_gene_vegfc

 Lymphedema Gene SOX18

 http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_gene_sox18

 Lymphedema and Pregnancy

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com/wiki/doku.php?id=lymphedema_and_pregnancy

Home page: Lymphedema People

http://www.lymphedemapeople.com

Page Updated: Jan. 15, 2012