From the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (YK, JYJ, SJL, SYJ), Department of Biomedical Engineering (DIS), and Department of Biostatistics (HJK), Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea; and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Incheon St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Incheon, South Korea (D-HJ).
This study of pressure monitoring of multilayer inelastic bandaging and the effect of padding in breast cancer-related lymphedema patients aimed to measure the resting and working sub-bandage pressures in compression therapy forlymphedema patients and to determine whether applying additional padding has an additional effect in volume reduction of the limb.
Forty-eight patients with breast cancer who were beginning complex decongestive therapy for lymphedema were included. In 24 patients, padding was added to the forearm. A short-stretch bandage with or without padding was applied to the affected arm. The working pressure was measured while the patients squeezed a rubber device. The forearm limb circumference was measured before and after 2 wks of treatment.
The mean (SD) of the resting pressure was 36.3 (2.2) mm Hg without padding and 49.5 (3.2) mm Hg with padding. The mean (SD) of the working pressure was 9.5 (3.7) mm Hg without padding and 24.3 (9.1) mm Hg with padding (P < 0.05). The volume loss after treatment was significantly greater in the group with added padding (P < 0.05).
The working pressure during exercising with a force of 50 Pa is approximately 10 mm Hg with a short-stretch bandage applied. Adding a pad increases both the resting and the working pressure and also seems to be effective in increasing volume reduction of the limb.