To determine the effectiveness of early supervised physiotherapy in reducing the risk of lymphedema after modified radical mastectomy.
Design: Experimental Study.
Setting: Data was collected from in patient department of Surgery department, K.J Somaiya Hospital, Sion, Mumbai.
Method: The study included 20 participants and divided into two groups with 10 participants in each. They were treated with a physiotherapy program including positioning, active range of motion, progressive resisted exercises, manual lymphatic drainage technique, compression garment and deep breathing exercises. All the exercises were supervised by therapist. Group A also received an educational strategy. The control group received the educational strategy only. Main outcome measure was lymphedema (>2 cm) increase in arm circumference measured at two adjacent points compared with the non-affected arm using measuring tape.
Result: Comparison of post treatment circumferential measurement of group A and group B at three level, post group A value for mid-arm was 19.11cm and post group B was 21.55cm respectively using unpaired t test p=0.058 not significant. At elbow, post group A value was 15.44cm and post group B value was 18.08cm respectively using unpaired t test p=0.032 significant, and at midforearm post group A value was 12.25cm and post group B value was 15.02cm respectively using unpaired t test p=0.046 significant.
Conclusion: Early supervised physiotherapy could be an effective intervention in prevention of lymphedema in women for at least 3 months after surgery for breast cancer involving dissection of axillary lymph nodes. Trial registration- PIMS/PMT/IEC/2016/16390