Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



Physical Therapy


Susan Pivko

Subject Categories

Physical Therapy


Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT), the gold standard for lymphedema treatment, fails to demonstrate long-term efficacy. The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term efficacy of low level laser therapy (LLLT) in reducing post-mastectomy lymphedema when used with CDT. The experimental group received LLLT and CDT (n = 7) while control group received sham laser and CDT (n = 7), twice a week for 4 to 8 weeks. Percent arm circumference difference between affected and unaffected limbs was collected over 18 months. Results revealed no statistical difference between both groups at all time periods: 1 (p = 0.902), 2 (p = 0.535), 3 (p = 0.445), 6 (p = 0.095), 12 (p = 0.537) and 18 months (p = 0.4). Further study with a larger sample size may prove more significant for long-term efficacy of LLLT.