Graduated compression stockings have been advocated for prevention of lymphedema after inguinal lymph node dissection (ILND) although scientific evidence of their efficacy in preventing lymphedema is lacking. The primary objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of class II compression stockings for the prevention of lymphedema in cancer patients following ILND. Secondary objectives were to investigate the influence of stockings on the occurrence of wound complications and genital edema, health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and body image. Eighty patients (45 with melanoma, 35 with urogenital tumors) who underwent ILND at two specialized cancer centers were randomly allocated to class II compression stocking use for six months or to a usual care control group. Lymphedema of the leg and genital area, wound complications, HRQoL, and body image were assessed at regular intervals prior to and up to 12 months after ILND. No significant differences were observed between groups in the incidence of edema, median time to the occurrence of edema, incidence of genital edema, frequency of complications, HRQoL, or body image. Based on the results of the current study, routine prescription of class II graduated compression stockings after ILND should be questioned and alternative prevention strategies should be considered.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Stuiver, M. M., de Rooij, J., Lucas, C., Nieweg, O., Horenblas, S., van Geel, A., … Aaronson, N. (2013). No evidence of benefit from class-II compression stockings in the prevention of lower-limb lymphedema after inguinal lymph node dissection: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Lymphology, 46(3), 120–131. Retrieved from