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Lymphease Unit Loan Program

Current American research reports up to 80% of women experience arm morbidity (pins and needles, heaviness, swelling etc) at 30 months post surgery.

The Lymphease Unit Loan Program has been designed to make a positive reduction in the risk of women experiencing long standing problems years after their breast cancer treatment.

The aim is to educate women how to detect early changes in their arm and breast and then how to manage these changes. Early treatment for breast changes after surgery is offered to women within Mater Private Breast Cancer Center after surgery and radiotherapy by the Occupational Therapist–Denise Stewart.

The current treatment program uses a multimodal approach to manage what can be a range of responses—from mild discomfort to severe pain and mild breast or arm swelling that will go away—to more persistent swelling.

The Equipment Loan Program

The latest innovative equipment is now available for women to use at home for a period of 3 weeks. This in home treatment program is like a “kick start” to the management of arm and breast symptoms that can be experienced by some women after their breast cancer treatment.

How the Lymphease works (Available for loan):

The lymphease uses a three-dimensional vibration action that has been clinically proven to increase skin blood supply and microcirculation.

This battery operated device is used to treat excessive tissue fluid, specifically people with early stage lymphoedema.

Other responses obtained from patients in a clinical trial are:

a reduction in pain an improvement in the range of movement a reduction in heaviness a reduction in “pins and needles” an improvement in the perception of arm size.

After a demonstration in its use by the therapist—it can be easily used at home.

How the HC-LTU Laser Therapy Unit (Handy Cure) works (Available for loan):

These lasers have been designed for in-home use. The laser comes with instructions to manage increased tissue fluid—such as for lymphoedema. The laser can also be used to soften scarring that can develop in the armpit and chest following surgery and radiotherapy.

Your therapist will train you in using the device to get the most out of an intensive three week home treatment program.

This particular laser has four concurrent treatment modalities: a low level laser diode, infrared and red light LED’s and a static magnet.

How the Riancorp Low Level Laser works (Not available for loan):

The Riancorp laser has recognised clinical trials to support its use to manage pain, scar tissue and lymphoedema. The laser treatment is used in conjunction with hands on massage techniques to improve:

tightness within the skin scarring after surgery and radiotherapy heaviness in the arm pain secondary to muscle and scar tissue tightness.

Each of these improvements results in the lymphatics being able to regenerate and move lymphatic fluid more easily around the body.

TGA and FDA approved and carrying a CE mark, the RianCorp LTU-904 laser device is the only low level laser unit in the world that has been trialed in a randomised double blind study for lymphoedema treatment. In the trial, 52% of participants experienced a clinically significant decrease in ECF after six weeks of active laser. More importantly, improvement was maintained for three months with 31% of participants showing a minimum reduction of 200mls of the affected arm. These significant results were achieved with the laser alone, and without any other treatment.

How the Niagra Hand Held Vibration unit works:

This unit uses a three-dimensional vibration which can be used to improve lymphatic drainage, assists in general circulation, increases tissue healing, reduces muscle spasm and tension.

Lymphometer:

This is a quick and effective measure of lymphatic drainage in the arm. Approximately 30%* of people may develop lymphatic drainage problems after their breast cancer treatment. Research supports that early detection and early management will result in better results.

Usually women who experience this lymphatic drainage problem will see a difference in their arm size and will feel heaviness in the arm, often well before others may notice. Fluid may present first at the inside elbow and/or in the upper forearm area.

Previously, testing relied on taking tape measure circumferences around the arm and then comparing the affected arm with the non-affected arm. This technique did not account well for differences that an individual may have had in the size of bone and musculature between the dominant and non dominant arm.

The Lymphometer measures the resistance to a small electrical current within the body’s fluid system and will indicate the level of increased fluid in the arm. This test can also be used to monitor treatment programs so that the therapist and the woman can know how effective the treatment is over time.

Each of these items has been purchased by Mater chicks in pink and are available for women during their appointment with the therapist at the Mater Private Breast Cancer Center.

*The average onset time for lymphoedema is 36 months after breast cancer treatment.

Breast Cancer Support

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