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Clinical Trial Summary

Lymphedema related to breast cancer is one of the main complications after breast cancer treatment. Manual lymphatic drainage appears as a technique which could be applied in the treatment of lymphedema along with other techniques. The aim of this study is to analyze the effects of a physiotherapy program based on manual lymphatic drainage on the treatment of lymphedema after breast cancer, during the stabilization or maintenance phase of complex decongestant therapy. Therefore, a randomized, blinded, crossover clinical trial is suggested to assess the effect of an intensive physiotherapy intervention on the treatment of lymphedema in its maintenance phase, in comparison with a control group without physiotherapy treatment. The cytometry, displaced water volume, thickness of the lymphedema with ultrasound, dynamometry and sensation of heaviness, pain and tension of the upper limb will be evaluated.


Clinical Trial Description

Complex decongestant therapy is a set of techniques which seek the treatment of lymphedema in a conservative way as described in the recent international consensus of the International Lymphology Society, published in 2020. Complex decongestant therapy in a first phase aims to reduce cutaneous edema and in a second phase it aims to preserve and optimize the results obtained. The first phase consists of skin care, manual lymphatic drainage, muscle pumping exercises, and compression techniques, typically applied with multilayer bandages. The second phase consists of compression with low elasticity, skin care exercises, and repeated manual lymphatic drainage as needed. The frequency and intensity of components of complex decongestant therapy in phase I and II should depend on the clinical findings of edema and the stage of lymphedema and could be adapted to clinical changes. Note that phase II or stabilization represents long-term therapy over many years and in the case of deterioration of edema, phase I of complex decongestant therapy may need to be repeated. In recent years, there is debate about the efficacy of manual lymphatic drainage. Sometimes it is not prescribed, being replaced by the recommendation of a self-massage. Furthermore, complex decongestant therapy was suggested to be time consuming, expensive and difficult to tolerate, and does not improve lymphatic function. In contrast, researchers such as Müller et al., in 2018, state that it is a well-tolerated and safe treatment technique, demonstrating benefits in reducing edema. Other research has also shown that manual lymphatic drainage is effective both on a preventive level and as a postoperative rehabilitation treatment, having optimal results when combined with the other elements of complex decongestant therapy. A recent systematic review published in 2020 highlights the need of more experimental studies on the effectiveness of manual lymphatic drainage on lymphedema. Thus, the purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of a physiotherapy program based on manual lymphatic drainage in the treatment of lymphedema after breast cancer, during the stabilization or maintenance phase of complex decongestant therapy. Therefore, a double-blind crossover clinical trial is proposed. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05037708
Study type Interventional
Source University of Vigo
Contact
Status Active, not recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date June 1, 2021
Completion date March 30, 2022

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