A New Method for Treatment of Lymphedema of Limbs: Standardized Manual Massage with a New Device Linforoll in Conservative and Surgical Therapy Protocols

Lymphat Res Biol. 2016 Dec;14(4):226-232. doi: 10.1089/lrb.2015.0034. Epub 2016 Jun 7.


Objectives: Edema fluid in lymphedematous limbs should be evacuated to sites where it can be absorbed. It should be moved either to the hypogastrium or arm/scapular regions along tissue channels or implanted silicon channels or through lymphovenous anastomoses. For that purpose, the manual lymphatic drainage of limb is an effective method. Standardization of manual massage applied force and timing becomes necessary.

Aim: A device with known pressing area and continuously showing the applied force while moving it toward the root of the limb is needed. Moreover, force could be adjusted to the stiffness of the massaged tissues that varies at different levels of the limb. Results from such a device would be repeatable and reproducible by others.

Methods: In this study we present data on tissue fluid hydromechanics obtained from 20 patients with obstructive limb lymphedema during massage with a massaging roller called Linforoll. Linforoll is composed of a hand piece with roller and pressure sensor connected wireless to the computer displaying the pressure curve of the applied force. Electron microscopy studies for checking eventual tissue changes were done.

Results and conclusions: Linforoll provides the possibilities of: 1) regulating the applied force according to the hydromechanic conditions of the massaged tissues; 2) standardization of massage repeatable in the same patient; 3) decrease of limb volume; 4) evident increase in tissue elasticity; 5) application as a driving force for fluid flow along the surgically implanted tubing and vessels running to the lymphovenous shunts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Fluids / metabolism
  • Extremities / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / pathology
  • Lymphedema / metabolism
  • Lymphedema / pathology
  • Lymphedema / therapy*
  • Massage / instrumentation*
  • Massage / methods*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Plethysmography / methods
  • Pressure
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Upper Extremity / pathology
  • Young Adult