Lymphedema is due to an abnormal increase in protein-rich fluid in the interstitial space due to a disorder of the lymphatic circulation. This accumulation produces an increase in the circumference of the affected limb, limiting its mobility and diminishing the quality of life of the patient who suffers it.
How Much Does A Lymphedema Pump Cost?
Pneumatic pumps may be very expensive, with prices ranging from $ 800 up to $ 5,000, and even if the insurance covers it, you probably have to pay part of the amount. You could first rent one to test it. If you and your lymphedema therapist observe good results, then it may be worthwhile a long-term rental or even buy it.
Lymphedema treatment includes:
-Use Of Compression Garments: It is the most widespread technique in the treatment of lymphedema and a recent clinical trial showed the same effect on its own as combined with the physiotherapy of drainage. Its mechanism of action is based on the creation of a pressure gradient that facilitates the drainage of fluid from the distal part of the affected limb to the trunk. They should be used daily so they are poorly tolerated by patients, especially during the summer.
-Pneumatic Pump: A pneumatic pump is a machine that has an inflatable sleeve, with several cameras (such as balloons) that are inflated one after the other to stimulate the circulation of lymph fluid in proper direction.
Depending on the type of lymphedema pump worn, the person must sit up or lie down. To pump the arm, you must sit in a chair beside the pump and put the arm into the sleeve. The sleeve looks like an arm-length B.P cuff. For the thorax or torso, you may have to sit up or lie down, depending on how the garment is made, which is similar to a vest. Then, you must turn on the pump to start the pumping sessions, which lasts an hour.
-Manual Lymphatic Drainage: It constitutes a non-invasive therapeutic technique by means of a massage, the application of a gentle manual pressure, first on the armpit or groin to empty the lymphatic vessels that may be collapsed; and subsequently from proximal to distal, in order to stimulate and direct the lymphatic flow from the extracellular space to the lymphatic vessels, and from the peripheral lymphatics towards the central ones.
-Complete Decongestive Therapy: Consists of a multimodal treatment program, consisting of two phases, a first phase known as “intensive”, usually 2 to 4 weeks after duration, which is aimed at reducing edema (fluid accumulation), and which consists of the application of a multilayer bandage after manual lymphatic drainage, as well as the prescription of a specific exercise program and education on hygienic-dietary habits and skin care. When the edema is significantly reduced, the measurements of the pressure therapy sleeve are taken. Next, the patient goes to phase II or maintenance phase, which includes the use of compression press on a daily basis, for life since lymphedema is a chronic disorder.
-Weight Loss And Other Hygienic Measures: Obesity is one of the main risk factors for the development of lymphedema, for which the loss of body mass in obese patients seems a fundamental requirement both for the prevention and during the treatment of lymphedema. In order to prevent the risk of infections, frequent complication of lymphedema, the scrupulous skin and nail hygiene must be maintained, as well as avoiding traumas and behaviors that present a risk of producing wounds on the affected area. Aerobic and resistance exercises are recommended as an integral part of the care program.
-Low-Intensity Laser Therapy: This innovative technique consists in the application of low-intensity laser in the armpit in order to improve the lymphatic flow.
-Ablative Surgery: In the more advanced stages, in which fibrosis is severe and incapacitating, ablative, non-physiological surgery can be performed; which reduces the volume of the affected limb by liposuction and excision of skin and subcutaneous tissue.
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