One of the most frequent questions we receive concerns infections in patients with lymphedema. Most people want to know how likely they are to get an infection and what they can do to prevent an infection.

Infections are a serious problem in patients with lymphedema. For many patients, an infection triggered lymphedema. Studies estimate that 10 to 15% of patients with lymphedema will develop an infection in the affected limb. We reported the results of 100 patients treated with the ReidSleeve at the NLN conference in September 1998. Among those patients, 12% experienced infections and most had recurrent infections. The most exciting aspect of the study was that, with a mean follow-up of 7.2 months, only 1 patient reported an infection after using the ReidSleeve. The single reported infection occurred within the first week of use of the ReidSleeve, before the patient had a chance to have effective reduction. 5 patients were free of infections for more than a year. In addition, we previously reported the case of a patient with multiple, recurrent infections requiring hospitalization for sepsis. She has been free of infections since starting treatment with the ReidSleeve in November 1995. See here - Treatment of lymphedema and recurrent cellulitis. These studies demonstrate that the ReidSleeve can be an effective treatment for lymphedema and that it can significantly reduce the incidence of infections that can exacerbate lymphedema.

Tony Reid MD Ph.D
Dr. Reid's Corner
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