• Accurate blood pressure readings after bilateral mastectomy and sentinel node removal?

    Asked by hikerchick on Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    Accurate blood pressure readings after bilateral mastectomy and sentinel node removal?

    It's been two and a half years since surgery and I haven't had 2 nurses agree on how to take and read my blood pressure. Some say it's okay to take it on the forearm but my understanding is that it isn't. Some want to take it on the upper leg; some want the lower leg. Some subtract 10 points from both readings because of taking on leg; some subtract 20 points; some don't subtract anything. Some say they need a special cuff for the leg...but don't have it.... even if it's an oncologist's office! Some say they don't need a special cuff for the leg. Some say you must be lying down with your feet perfectly horizontal or slightly elevated above your heart if your taking it on the leg. Some say you can be sitting up. Uggh!
    A little help?

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I'm only out since October after bilateral mastectomy, but every time I go to doctor, they take bp on my unaffected arm, same as usual. They've never suggested leg, nor added, divided or multiplied any points from the readings.

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I had a bilat with axillary dissection on the BC side....I have my BP taken on the prophy side....so far no problems and I'm 7 years since bilat....the only time it was taken on my leg was when I was having wrist surgery and they couldn't use the prophy arm...

      over 4 years ago
    • hikerchick's Avatar

      To clarify, I had lymph nodes removed from both sides and had cancer in both breasts so both of my arms are supposed to be off-limits for a bp cuff.

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      What a dilemna!!! I had lymph nodes removed on just one side -- and I ended up with Lymphedema within a couple of months. Needless to say, no one is allowed near that arm.
      If I were you, I would not let them use either arm. There was a lady that posted on here some time ago that said her arm was okay until they used it to take blood pressure after which she developed Lymphedema. Of course, I do not know any details but why take a chance. If you could get just one doctor, preferably your regular MD, to have the correct cuff and procedure -- then you could limit yourself to just that one source and have the results forwarded to anyone else who wants them. I wish you the best!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      I always heard they would use your thigh. I have one good arm fortunately. Check out www.breastcancer.org. I bet you can find an answer there. Also ask your oncologist. Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      I wish I could help, but I can't. They take it on my arm and I had a sentinel node removed under each arm. They never told me I couldn't have my blood pressure taken so now I am going to have to call the doctor on this one.

      over 4 years ago
    • Grandy's Avatar

      I had a bilateral on May 3rd. In the hospital they used my leg. I had a few nodes out of cancer breast, and only one out of non cancer breast... So I have the same question as you.

      over 4 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar

      Thank you for your question. I hope all is well.

      Your comments reminded me of some content we have on the site about mastectomy and double mastectomy. Perhaps you will find it helpful.


      One more thing, I wanted to let other WhatNexters know about our Beginner's Guide to Cancer, which includes a guide on how women chose between a lumpectomy and mastectomy.


      Best of luck to all,

      about 4 years ago

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