• #17-2. Medical therapies of lymphedema





    Benzopyrone, belonging to the coumatrin class, can be tried for its potential systemic action. Benzopyrone (Coumarin) was used in Australia for treatment of lymphedema. Coumarin increases the expression and activity of lymph node macrophages to enable removal of proteins, bacteria and waste materials. It helps to reduce the swelling and the risk of infection. Coumarin should be continued for at least 3-6 months but its efficacy is not as good as lymph drainage massaging or compression bandaging. One scholar reported that 6% of patients experienced liver toxicity and showed no response to Coumarin therapy.

    Other moderately effective oral therapies include hydroxyethylrutoside, purified micronized diosmin and hesperidin, etc.



    Mesotherapy uses several small dose injections given in the dermis. It was developed by Dr. Michel Pistor of France in 1952. It is used in acne, arthritis, cellulite, and obesity, etc. The mesotherapy solutions include aminophylline (asthma treatment), isopreteranol (cardiovascular treatment), and phosphatidylcholine (Lipostabil), etc.

    In lymphedema, mesotherapy is used to inject hyaluronidase or similar solutions into the affected area. It is carried out for the purpose of softening the cellular matrix and normalizing lymph circulation.  


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    Other treatments of lymphedema

    Various methods such as stem cell therapy, laser, fine needle aspiration, microwave therapy, thermotherapy, and acupuncture, etc. are being used in lymphedema. 



    -To be continued

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