Lymphedema of the lower limbs often contributes to the mobility impairment of morbidly obese patients. Defining novel costeffective protocols is important for reducing treatment costs. The study aimed to assess if Capacitive and Resistive Energy Transfer (TECAR) can reduce edema and the minimum number of sessions needed to observe volume reduction. Forty-eight severely obese subjects (age range: 46-78 years; BMI >40 kg/m2) with bilateral lower limb lymphedema were divided into three groups undergoing either manual lymphatic drainage, pressure therapy, or TECAR, in addition to a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program. They were compared to a control group composed by 12 women (age: 67.4 ± 8.9 years, BMI: 44.6 ± 4.1 Kg/m2) undergoing only the rehabilitation program. A handheld laser scanner 3D system was used for volume measurements. In addition, patients were evaluated with a Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and pain/heaviness of the lower limbs with a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). A significant volume reduction was observed after 6 sessions of TECAR: specifically, in the whole limb (PRE: 9.7+2.8 dm3; POST: 9.4+2.8 dm3; p<0.05) and in the thigh (PRE: 3.5+1.3 dm3; POST: 3.3+1.2 dm3; p<0.05). The TUG and VAS for pain showed a significant improvement in all groups. Our preliminary results suggest that TECAR can provide a relatively early reduction of lower limb edema with improvement of patients’ function and pain.
Copyright by International Society of Lymphology.
TECAR; lymphatic treatment; lymphedema; obesity; rehabilitation
- Istituto Auxologico Italiano, IRCCS, Rehabilitation Unit and Research Lab in Biomechanics and Rehabilitation, Italy.
- Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy.
- Freelance Physiatrist, Reggio Emilia, Italy.