Bioimpedance Spectroscopy: How It Functions and How It Improves Subclinical Lymphedema Detection

Sheila L. Ridner, PhD, RN, FAAN, provides an overview of bioimpedance spectroscopy and how the simple design allows for standardized subclinical lymphedema surveillance in breast cancer survivors.

The technology for bioimpedance spectroscopy (BIS) has evolved rapidly in the past couple decades, according to Sheila L. Ridner, PhD, RN, FAAN. Moreover, the current technology is both easy to use and patient friendly.

“It is as easy to use as putting someone on a scale and getting their weight,” Ridner, a research professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, explained in an interview with Oncology Nursing News®,noting that the underlying technology is based on electrical current that measures the fluid between the cells. “It’s very simple. It’s very quick. It takes less than a minute to do.”

“The first patient that I ever measured loved the technology and said, ‘This makes so much more sense than being measured with a tape,’” Ridner recalled. “Because, [patients can] tell that tape measurements techniques vary from therapist to therapist or doctor to doctor or nurse to nurse. [Therefore], [BIS] standardizes the way you do the measurement, you cannot get it wrong: a nurse could weigh a patient, get their blood pressure, check their arm with BIS and take them right on to see their nurse practitioner, or their oncologist or their surgeon as part of a routine posttreatment visit. It is that easy.”

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