Bioimpedance is a new tool to assist diagnosis of patients at risk of developing lymphoedema and diagnosing lymphoedema before it is showing any physical symptoms and is important in providing optimal patient outcome.

Bioimpedance measurments can be taken before surgery as a baseline and continued at regular intervals after surgery to assess if any signs of lymphoedema are present.

Appropriate management can then be commenced to reverse and reduce lymphoedema development.

The procedure is simple, and non-invasive. Electrodes are applied to the skin on the ‘at risk’ and ‘unaffected’ limbs and measurements are taken by passing a harmless electrical signal of very low strength through the body.

An increase of fluid in the body's tissues results in the electrical signal travelling more easily through the limb. The Bioimpedance device compares the rate of electrical signal between the ‘at risk’ limb and the unaffected limb. This value can be an indicator of extracellular fluid levels (fluid collection) within the tissues before there are any visible signs of lymphoedema.

This can assist in early lymphoedema intervention and optimization of treatment.

Bioimpedance is offered at the following centres:
Anne Young Breast Clinic and the Physiotherapy Department of the Waitemata District Health Board

Auckland Breast Centre
217 Shakespeare Road Milford
Ph 09 4889179 Fax 09 486 0410
Provides Bioimpedance for management of Secondary Lymphoedema in Women treated for breast cancer.

Kathryn Vickers
Active Life Physiotherapy
Bethlehem, Tauranga
07 576 6999

Useful Links
Bioimpedance in New Zealand

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