Keywords: Lymphatouch, lymphedema, edema, swelling, inflammation, negative pressure, scars, post-traumatic edema, fibrosis, fibrotic tissue, mobility,
Another relatively new device that is apparently being used to treat lymphedema is the Lymphatouch device.
This device uses negative pressure to move fluid and/or lymph. It is manufactured by HLD Healthy Life Devices, which is a Finnish healthcare technology company just founded in 2005.
The manufacturer claims that “the indications for the LymphaTouch treatment include post-surgical and post-traumatic edema, lymphedema, scars, and edema-related fibrosis. Efficient treatment of post-operative swelling accelerates the healing process, relieves pain (fibromyalgia is cited), increases mobility, and reduces the formation of fibrotic tissue.”
Pacific Coast Sports Medicine in Los Angeles, California was the first US company to use the device in treating patients and claims that it is effective in the treatment of muscle pain, tennis elbow and various sports injuries.
I could find no independent clinical studies to verify any claims for generalized edema, much less for lymphedema. There are no articles available in the public medical record.
However, there are a number of very positive testimonials posted from physical therapists and certified lymphedema treatment therapists stating how it has helped the swelling of their patients.
It should be noted too, that even if this device does help swelling, that lymphedema patients still must use compression garments and/or bandages after treatment or the fluid will reaccumulate.
“Do not use on pregnant women without a doctors consent, do not use on a patient with cancer without prior consultation with the attending doctors, do not use on areas with inflammation, extra caution should be used on fragile skin, plus all contraindications of manual lymphatic drainage apply.”
It is interesting though, exactly what damage the device could cause the patient is not listed on the products home web site.
Should I use the Lymphatouch Device?
The best I can say about this device is that at least it doesn’t appear to be dangerous or to cause irreparable physical damage to the patient.
How valuable it is in the treatment of lymphedema is quite frankly, open to debate and it is clear independent clinical studies are very much needed to show its efficacy.
Another problem I see is that the device just doesn’t appear to be one that a patient should use on themselves and I am concerned that patients would.
It is also a “buyer beware” product because of the lack of verification of its claims. Personally, I wouldn’t purchase one.
Incidentally, it was very frustrating finding information about the device and it seems the manufacturer is just about the only source of the information that is available. I am almost embarrassed to even include a page on this device specifically because of the lack of real information.
July 28, 2012