• BP, Inj. given in the side of lymph nodes removal- Ok/Not?

    Asked by gtmom on Saturday, October 13, 2018

    BP, Inj. given in the side of lymph nodes removal- Ok/Not?

    Before I went to surgery I asked about the "rule/recommendation" of not having BP taken or any injections in the arm of lymph node removal, she not true anymore. Depends on if you’ve had a Lymph Node Biopsy or a Dissection. Thoughts? Experience(s)?

    19 Answers from the Community

    19 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar

      I have never heard of this in ten years of having lymph nodes removed. If it troubles you, simply ask those who should know. Until this is clarified, simply ask for the other arm to be used.

      over 2 years ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      I was told almost 5 years ago to not have anything done on my left arm due to lymph node removal. I did have lymphedema after my double mastectomy that was discovered by a very good physical therapist. She treated it immediately, and thank goodness, I have not had a recurrence of it. It is only a minor inconvenience to have to remind the person who is working on me. I am not taking any chances.

      over 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      Ever since I had breast cancer and under arm lymph node removal, I was told to use the opposite arm for BP cuffs and blood draws. It's supposed to be to prevent lymphedema in my arm, which can be painful and a major side effect requiring therapy and all kinds of things.

      As po18guy said, use the other arm until you can clarify with your doctor.
      (Anyway, I thought removal would be the same as a dissection.)

      over 2 years ago
    • gtmom's Avatar

      Thank you all. When the nurse told me I was thinking this just goes against everything I had ever learned in life as my stepmom and step-aunt have had BC. I’m going to ask my surgeon on Monday at my follow up.

      over 2 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar

      I asked about this at my last checkup less than a year ago. I hate wearing the compression garment when I fly. I was told to continue to use every precaution became lymphodema is essential incurable.

      over 2 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      They told me not to ever have BP or needles of any kind on my affected arm because of lymphedema risk. I had 7 nodes removed from jy right arm, and now I wear a medic alert dog tag that says "RIGHT ARM, NO BP, NO NEEDLES". Mostly, I tell them not to use my right arm, but the dog tag is in case I can't speak for myself. HUGS and God bless.

      over 2 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      Chiming in with everyone else: reconfirm with your practitioner. I had 12 nodes removed a decade ago resulting in mild lymphedema. Time and therapy healed the swelling, but I do wear a sleeve if flying and insist that BP and needles not be used on my left arm.

      over 2 years ago
    • dmarussell's Avatar

      Ditto...I had lymphnode removed from right side and was told as others have said...use my left for BP, blood draw, injections, etc... To keep lymphedema away and needed injections of medicine, like my Neulastra, can travel thru the lymphatic system much better with all nodes intact.

      over 2 years ago
    • junie1's Avatar

      after having surgery on the left side in 1994, ( I had a lumpectomy,, & lymph nodes removed) I was told to do the blood draw and BBP on the right side. Then in 2014 I had a double mastectomy,, with lymph nodes removed in the right side. So now they have to do blood pressure on the legs. and Blood draw in the left side,, for after 20 years,, less lymph nodes was taken outta the left than from the right. so all the doctors have said that having blood drawn from the left is ok. just no BP on either arm.

      over 2 years ago
    • Carol1286's Avatar

      I was told no BP or blood draws on the left. I wear a medic alert bracelet. When flying I wear a compression sleeve. I've had so many problems, I don't take any chances. After all, I'm the one who has to live with the untoward results.

      over 2 years ago
    • ChiSandy's Avatar

      Docs are all over the place about this. My BFF had a bmx done with SNB (2 removed in ea. side) and her surgeon dismissed the idea, saying “they treat lymphedema with compression, and BP is only for a minute.” My surgeon’s NP had me measured for compression wear even before my lx and said to wear it for any flight >4 hrs. I then had 4 nodes removed.

      After radiation I had mild cording that popped on its own but I saw an LE specialist who prescribed some basic OT sessions because my insurance covered them. My LE doc said he doesn’t even prescribe compression for patients who’ve had “only” 4 nodes out; but because I had some bilateral finger swelling (tight rings) after wearing a gauntlet on a flight from Rome, he prescribed a glove. I wear a medical alert bracelet (fake Pandora) with the ID tag logo in pink because he says that if EMTs & ER personnel don’t see pink, they don’t think “LE.” (I also have my drug allergies & emergency contact phone etched onto it).

      I felt my arm get “heavy” after a 95-floor express elevator ride once, so I tend to bring compression wear if I plan to go to top-of-skyscraper restaurants again. Ditto trips into mountains >5000 ft.

      I recently had surgery on the opposite arm. My LE doc said that it’d be OK to use my R hand for the IV so long as the tourniquet was on only long enough to start it—but to use my leg for BP. My OT who did my post-op hand therapy said to wear it every time I fly, but I usually don’t for shorter flights (though it’s in my purse when I fly).

      over 2 years ago
    • charnell's Avatar

      I also had a bmx done and lymph node removal both sides (including 21 from one side) I have lymphedema. I do BP on my leg. I do allow blood draws and injections on the side that didn't have as many removed.

      over 2 years ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar

      I would like the doctor who said BP is only a minute to get their BP done on an arm where 25 lymph nodes were removed. I once forgot about having BP done on the right and when the cuff started to get tight I about jumped out of my skin. In addition, lymphedema is not only treated with compression. I started lymphedema therapy during chemo for prevention. My therapist showed me a litany of exercises that I do religiously every day in the shower. A year after treatment ended, I had a bout of mild lymphedema which they treated with specialized massage from a lymphedema specialist and that and the exercises took care of it. I just don't understand why a doctor would dismiss precautions for something as serious as lymphedema. I got a really cool compression sleeve that looks like a full arm tattoo. I too wear it when I fly and at elevation. My arm gets that heavy feeling at altitude for sure. I've been meaning to get a medic alert bracelet so I'm thankful for the reminder.

      over 2 years ago
    • ChiSandy's Avatar

      Basically, that’s why I’m glad my surgeon is at a different hospital from my BFF’s. I have a wardrobe of compression sleeves & gauntlets (the fingers on the matching gloves are too long): tattoo, leopard, music-themed, even denim!

      over 2 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      At home I use a wrist BP monitor---is that included as a no-no? It isn't tight when it takes it, only against my wrist.

      over 2 years ago
    • akwendi's Avatar

      I wouldn't chance it. I forgot one time that I went to the doctor and had my blood pressure taken on the surgery side. Besides hurting an incredible amount, I have had lymphedema problems since then. The doctor said it isn't related, but why take the chance?

      over 2 years ago
    • Ashera's Avatar

      Use your other arm. Why take even the smallest chance. BPs, injections, bracelets, elastic bands/cuffs, infections around your cuticles, insect bites - etc - can all cause swelling. I have mild lymphedema - 21 nodes removed and radiation to breast and underarm. I use a compression sleeve and had 6 months of manual therapy after surgery to break cords down. I was also very, very fortunate to have my insurance pay for a Biocompression Pump - sleeve/vest - that I use at home twice a week. It is easier to keep swelling from happening in the first place, than deal with it later. I won't even let them put a plastic ID bracelet on - kind of overkill - but it keeps me remembering to take care with my right arm.

      over 2 years ago
    • hikerchick's Avatar

      You're lucky to have the option. I had double mastectomy and insist on getting BP on my leg. Better safe than sorry! Differing views on this, even among surgeons, doctors, nurses, etc.

      over 2 years ago
    • Cece423's Avatar
      Cece423 (Best Answer!)

      I really get upset with drs, nurses and other practitioners effectively poo-pooing the risk of lymphedema and related complications. I had a bilateral mastectomy & 20+ lymph nodes removed on the left side 5 yrs ago. I have mild lymphedema in my arm, and about a year ago suffered a serious bout of cellulitis resulting from a tiny paper cut on my thumb, requiring hospitalization & IV antibiotic treatment. I now wear a MedicAlert bracelet indicating a restricted limb, and would never have any BP or needles in my left arm. Absolutely choose your own safety and health above all.

      over 2 years ago

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