Manual lymphatic drainage improves the quality of life in patients with chronic venous disease: a randomized controlled trial

Arch Med Sci. 2013 Jun 20;9(3):452-8. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2013.35343. Epub 2013 May 27.


Introduction: Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is an adjunctive method of chronic venous disease (CVD) therapy. Evaluation of the change at the clinical stage, hemodynamic parameters and quality of life (QoL) following venous system surgery in CVD patients undergoing MLD preoperatively are the most interesting aspects of the study.

Material and methods: The CVD patients qualified for elective surgery of the venous system were randomly divided into 2 groups: the MLD group (n = 38) and the control group (n = 32). In the preoperative period, the MLD group underwent a series of MLD through a period of 2 weeks. The control group did not undergo MLD preoperatively. Both groups were evaluated for CVD staging on the day of qualification for surgery and between 25 and 30 days post-operatively. Additionally, the MLD group was evaluated after the series of MLD. The CVD staging was evaluated in both groups with a QoL questionnaire (CIVIQ), CEAP classification, foot volumetry (FV) and venous refilling time (VRT).

Results: PARAMETER VALUES OBTAINED IN THE MLD GROUP (BEFORE TREATMENT/AFTER MLD/AFTER SURGERY): CEAP 2.23/2.15/2.10, VRT 15/13/15.6, FV 3625/3472/3418, CIVIQ-complaints: 54.4/43.8/38.2 and CIVIQ-meaning: 57.3/49.3/43.1. Parameter values obtained in control group (before surgery/after surgery): CEAP 2.4/2.12, VRT 13/14.9, FV 3581/3559, CIVIQ-complaints: 51.9/38.7 and CIVIQ-meaning: 53.7/40.6. The CVD patients statistically improved in CEAP staging, FV and QoL in both groups (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The MLD alone significantly reduced FV in patients with CVD, also improving their QoL. The MLD applied in CVD patients at the preoperative stage results in better surgical outcome, which is demonstrated by reduced disease progression, FV reduction and improvement in the QoL.

Keywords: chronic venous disease; manual lymphatic drainage; quality of life.