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Treatment of lymphedema and recurrent cellulitis.
Tony Reid MD Ph.D.

31 year old female with lymphedema due to multiple knee injuries and surgeries. First hospitalized in May 1994 for cellulitis as a complication of lymphedema. Between May 1994 and November 1995, she had 12 hospitalizations including several admissions to the intensive care unit for cellulitis and sepsis. Cumulatively she had a total of 152 days in the hospital, an average of 8.9 hospital days per month. During that time she received multiple treatments including: diuretics, bandaging, manual lymphatic drainage and intermittent pneumatic compression without significant improvement. She was on antibiotics almost continuously to suppress the infections and developed allergies to penicillin, azithromycin, clindamycin, vancomycin and cefalosporins. There was consideration of amputation to prevent the possibility of death due to the recurrent infections. At the time of presentation to the Stanford Lymphedema Clinic, she suffered from worsening edema, recurrent cellulitis/sepsis, chronic monilial vaginitis and depression.

Before treatment with the ReidSleeve

After treatment with the ReidSleeve

On November 25, 1995 she was started on treatment with the ReidSleeve for the lower extemity. At five months after starting treatment , she had no further infections and was off antibiotics and had marked reduction in edema (see photo). The edema in her thigh completely resolved and she had a 70% reduction in the edema in the knee area and a 65% reduction in the edema in the calf region (see photo). There was marked resolution of erythematous skin changes. She was more active and had marked improvement of her psychological status and overall well-being.

In addition, the treatment is cost-effective. Assuming she continued to require hospitalization at the rate of 9 days per month, at a cost of $2000 to $3000 per day, the health care savings over the following 5 months would exceed $90,000 to $130,000.

Case Report Presented: Second National Lymphedema Network Conference, Sept. 1996

* Patient reported in she remains free from infection.