Acute Effects of Remedial Exercises with and without Compression on Breast-Cancer-Related Lymphedema

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Gülören G., DOĞAN Y., ÖZGÜL S., GÜRŞEN C., Çinar G. N., İpekten F., ...More

Healthcare (Switzerland), vol.11, no.22, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 22
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/healthcare11222949
  • Journal Name: Healthcare (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, CINAHL, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: bioimpedance spectroscopy, breast cancer, exercise, lymphedema
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Remedial exercises are an important part of the treatment for lymphedema, but there is little evidence to support the acute effects of remedial exercises with or without compression. The aim of this study was to investigate whether and how daily (performed within 24 h) remedial exercises with and without compression bandaging acutely affect the severity of lymphedema and its symptoms in breast-cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). In total, 34 patients with BCRL completed three sets of remedial exercises (within 24 h) with and without compression bandaging in a randomized order separated by a 3-day wash-out period. The severity of lymphedema and extracellular water ratio were assessed before and 24 h post exercise by using bilateral circumferential measurements and bioimpedance spectroscopy (in L-dex score), respectively, and the severity of self-reported symptoms (swelling, heaviness, and tightness) was assessed using a visual analogue scale. While there was no difference in all outcomes at 24 h post exercise without compression (p > 0.05), all outcomes decreased significantly compared to baseline at 24 h after the exercise with compression (p < 0.001). The remedial exercises performed in the absence of compression within 24 h do not acutely increase the lymphedema and symptoms in BCRL. These are important preliminary findings, which can be used to inform future prospective evaluation of the long-term effects of remedial exercise performed without compression.