Over the last few weeks I'be been weighing up the pros and cons of a couple pieces of equipment, an L-dex machine and the LTU-904 low level laser, and I think I've made my decision as to which one to purchase for my clinic.
The first is an L-dex machine. I'd heard of these machines before and when I went to the lymphoedema conference in March they talked about how useful they were. The L-dex measures the amount of fluid in the interstitial tissue and gives a good indication of whether lymphoedema is present in unilateral limbs. It's more useful as a guage in the early stages of lymphoedema as once the condition has progressed and the tissue has become fibrotic (hard) then the fluid content is less so your reading may actually be low, even though you can visibly see the swelling. A normal reading is anywhere between -10 and 10. Best case is to take a reading before surgery so you can compare straight away because even if your reading is say 8 after surgery, if it was -9 before then that is a big change (anything over a ten point change is an indication of lymphoedema being present). All very technical.
I decided to investigate costs and found that there was a special offer on and I had the rep come in and demonstrate. Well, she didn't actually demonstrate in the end, she spoke about it and left the machine with me to trial for a week and a half. And that I did. Two of my clients had had readings taken elsewhere recently and so it was really useful/interesting to be able to compare. I have to say, the readings I took were quite different to the ones they had just had and I began to question the reliability of the machine. Readings should be taken on the same machine and around the same time of day for consistency. Hmm. Not fully convinced.
But. One of the two clients who had readings previously said that initially she was excited because she thought I had bought a laser. So we talked about the benifits of L-dex versus laser. With a laser you can actually treat areas of fibrosis and lymphatic cording. Normally when I treat cording I have to do it manually, literally trying to snap the cord with stretching techniques and to this day I haven't heard the "snap" that accompanies the breaking of the cord (nor do I want to, the thought scares the bejeebers out of me). A laser breaks up the cording faster and easier and with less discomfort.
Lymphatic cording, photo courtesy cancerat35.blogspot.com
So. Here was my thought process. The L-dex - useful as a measurement tool and the medicos will like having an official looking print out with a number on it. The laser - I can actually treat clients with it and they walk out feeling better. A bit of a no-brainer really don't you think?
So I've just emailed the suppliers to see when I can get one. I'm getting the LTU-904.
photo courtesy Rian Corp
Read more about it here.
I'd love to hear about your experiences with either piece of equipment and whether you think my decision is the right one.