Graphical representation of improvement (reduction) in L-Dex scores over a course of treatments using laser therapy and manual lymphatic drainage.
Note the immediate improvement in the session on 21/01/09 when laser therapy only was utilised.
Please click on image for an enlarged view
This is technology that can monitor small changes in the extracellular volume of an arm or leg. It is a very accurate and sensitive tool that is fast becoming the internationally recognised "gold standard" for detecting early signs of lymphoedema, sometimes up to several months before a difference in size is noticed.
Small currents undetectable by the client are passed through several electrodes on the hands and feet. The greater the degree of fluid present, the more easily the current travels. The unit converts the measurements of the affected and non-affected limb into a score, which indicates the degree of swelling present.
Australian technology devised by Impedimed Pty Ltd has produced a handheld unit that can be used quickly and easily in the clinical setting. The test only takes about 5 minutes.
Our clinic was one of the first in Australia to commence using this technology in 2007, to monitor lymphoedema status as an adjunct to using circumferential measurement with a tape measure.
If we are in a position to assess a client soon after surgery, it also provides us with a "baseline" reading so that early detection of small increases in fluid volume enables early intervention. Research indicates that this improves the long term outcomes for clients and appropriate trreatment strategies may even be able to reverse early volume increases.
Cornish BH, Chapman M, Hirst C et al (2001) Early diagnosis of lymphoedema using multiple frequency bioimpedence J of Lymphology34(1):2-11