Jornal Vascular Brasileiro
Jornal Vascular Brasileiro
Review Article

Conservative treatment of lymphedema: the state of the art

Tratamento conservador do linfedema: estado da arte

Anke Bergmann; Jaqueline Munaretto Timm Baiocchi; Mauro Figueiredo Carvalho de Andrade

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Abstract: This article aims to discuss the possibilities of conservative and non-pharmacological treatments for lymphedema. A non-systematic review of the literature was carried out, including studies involving human subjects with different types of lymphedema. Several approaches to lymphedema treatment have been reported and Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) has been considered the most effective treatment for limb lymphedema. Other conservative treatments have been proposed such as Taping, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, Acupuncture, Photobiomodulation Therapy, Endermologie, Intermittent Pneumatic Compression, and Low-frequency, Low-intensity Electrotherapy. The choice of the therapeutic approach to be employed should consider lymphedema characteristics, the therapist's experience, and the patient's wishes. In addition, since this is a chronic condition, the patient must adhere to the treatment. To this end, the therapeutic proposal may be the key to better control of limb volume.


lymphedema, combined modality therapy, physical therapy specialty, rehabilitation, treatment


Resumo: Este artigo tem como objetivo discutir as possibilidades de tratamentos conservadores e não medicamentosos para o linfedema. Foi realizada uma revisão não sistemática da literatura, com a inclusão de estudos realizados em humanos com diferentes tipos de linfedema. Várias abordagens de tratamento foram relatadas, sendo a terapia descongestiva complexa considerada o tratamento mais eficaz para o linfedema de membros. Outros tratamentos conservadores foram propostos, como taping, terapia por ondas de choque extracorpórea, acupuntura, fotobiomodulação, endermologia, compressão pneumática intermitente e eletroterapia de baixa intensidade e baixa frequência. A escolha da abordagem terapêutica a ser empregada deve considerar as características do linfedema, a experiência do terapeuta e os desejos do paciente. Além disso, como é uma condição crônica, o paciente deve aderir ao tratamento. Para isso, a proposta terapêutica pode ser a chave para um melhor controle do volume do membro.


linfedema, terapia combinada, fisioterapia, reabilitação, tratamento


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