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Vol 19, No 3 (2013)
Research paper
Published online: 2013-12-18

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Pilot study to evaluate an apparatus for mechanical lymph drainage

Newton Antonio Bordin, José Maria Pereira de Godoy, Stelamarys Barufi, Maria de Fatima Guerreiro Godoy
Acta Angiologica 2013;19(3):118-120.

Abstract

Introduction. An association of therapies is recommended in the treatment of lymphedema with lymph drainage constituting one of the most important.

Material and methods. The aim of this study was to evaluate a 3-hour session of a new mechanical lymph drainage method utilizing the RAGodoy® apparatus. Volumetry was used to assess passive exercising in 13 patients suffering from arm lymphedema after breast cancer treatment. The participants’ age varied between 42 and 78 years old. Patients were submitted to mechanical lymph drainage using a passive, electromechanical apparatus for the upper limbs denominated RAGodoy®. This apparatus performs bending and stretching exercises of the elbow. Measurements by water displacement volumetry were taken at the start and at hourly intervals during the 3-hour session. The paired t-test was used for statistical analysis, with an alpha error of 5% being considered acceptable.

Results. The greatest reduction was observed in the first hour (p-value = 0.0001) with increases in volume being seen after the second and third hour compared to the end of the first hour (p-value = 0.001).

Conclusion. Mechanical lymph drainage utilizing the RAGodoy® apparatus is efficient to reduce the volume of lymphedematous arms, however its use is not recommended for more than one hour.