When I was in Boston for the Komen Race, they had a health expo set up the evening before the race. There was a group demonstrating the L-Dex technology, which can measure a woman's risk of developing lymphedema. I was curious about this, even though I am statistically at very low risk according to my breast surgeon. I let them test me, which was an interesting process.
Someone has a picture of me on the table having this done. They hooked up leads to both arms and my right foot (opposite of my BC side) and measurements were made by passing a harmless electrical signal of very low strength from the L-Dex device through my arm. Both arms were measured and the whole procedure took only minutes to complete.
It works like this: The electrical signal travels through the fluid surrounding the cells which make up the muscle and tissue of the arm. The amount of this fluid increases as lymphedema develops. Increased fluid means the electrical signal will travel more easily through the arm. An L-Dex device compares how easily the electrical signal travels in the unaffected versus the affected (or at-risk) arms and generates an L-Dex value from this comparison.
My score was a 4, which was well within normal range and indicates I am not at high risk. If I had scored above 10, I would want to work with a lymphedema therapist and take precautions such as wearing a compression sleeve when flying. Preventing lymphedema is easier than treating it once it occurs.
For more information, go to http://www.l-dex.com/