• Has anyone had a lymph node dissection?

    Asked by KRBaum on Monday, October 22, 2012

    Has anyone had a lymph node dissection?

    If you've had a lymph node dissection, can you tell me what the recovery was like? I've heard mixed info - some people say they will be in the hospital for a couple days, others say it is outpatient. Anyone have more information? My surgeon isn't super easy to get ahold of to ask.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      There is no standard answer. Some people do have it done as inpatient and some as outpatient. I had several lymph nodes removed along with a lumpectomy years ago. I lobbied to have it done as outpatient, but my surgeon disagreed, so I stayed in the hospital over one night. I had drains in for a few days after I came home, but that was more for the lumpectomy than the lymphectomy, so you may not have that if you are just having a sentinel node dissection.

      almost 4 years ago
    • StrongSteph's Avatar

      My first lymph dissection was outpatient. I only had 3 taken out and they were all negative. No drains or anything. The second time it was a part of a big surgery to take out the dead tumor. I stayed overnight and left with 2 drains. I think that Nancy's response is right on, it depends. Do you know where the nodes are being taken from and how many may be taken out? That may help you! Good Luck!

      almost 4 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I had two taken out, both negative, during my bilateral mastectomy. I was in the hospital overnight, but for the mastectomy. I think the big thing is to keep your arm moving after the lymph nodes are taken out...you don't want to get lymphedema. I'd suggest talking to your surgeon's nurse if you have more questions about your upcoming surgery...she/he can probably be very reassuring to talk with.

      almost 4 years ago
    • bavin's Avatar

      I think it depends on how intensive it is. I had the lymph node dissection with having 21 removed, 19 of which cancerous, and this was in patient because of how many and the location. I also had a drain. Either way, the overall procedure and recovery is not bad compared to my other surgeries. Resting and pain meds as normal and you will be fine!

      almost 4 years ago
    • beatriz's Avatar

      HI krbAUM: On 10/10/12 i had a lymph node ( left axila ) , removed for biopy. The procedure was done as an autpatient, they put me to sleep. Went in at 6am, surgery scheduled for 8am, out of hospital by about 10am same day. My recovery had no complications that all, i just followed after surgery instructions, Just felt like a little burning sensation, pain med took care of that. I relaxed and slept a lot.
      The incision is about 1, 1/2 inches long. Really nothing to worry about. Had worst times at the dentist. LOL...hope I helped a little. GOOD luck in your journey.........Beatriz

      almost 4 years ago
    • KRBaum's Avatar

      Thanks everyone, all very helpful!! Surgeon said it would be outpatient unless there are complications. Also, the lymph node dissection will be removing a clump of my lymph nodes, not sure how many yet. They said recovery would be 7-10 days, and I will have a drain for that same amount of time. Thank you!

      almost 4 years ago
    • barbeo's Avatar

      I had a lumpetomy to confirm that I had lung cancer, I was done as an outpatient with no complatations. I was home within a few hours. I have no problems with the surgery. I also went back in within a couple of weeks and had a port put in again no problems. As was said before I guess there is no standard answer. Wish you the best. Good luck. We all are one big family here.

      almost 4 years ago
    • Crash's Avatar

      Just to be perfectly clear, you're probably talking about a lymph node (Resection). Undoubtedly the removed nodes will be dissected to determine their make up. I had a retro peritoneal, para aortic lymph node resection. They opened me up just beneath the breast bone and stopped just above the family jewels. They took out approximately 80 nodes. Thirteen were positive for cancer. I was 21 then. I'm 58 now, and only in the last year has lymph edema been a problem. My left calf and ankle are swelling and I sometimes need to wear compression socks to keep the fluid and and the swelling down. Hope this helps.

      almost 4 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar


      Mine spread to my lymph nodes in my right armpit which the removed the whole sac. I have no feeling now from the elbow to my armpit, because they had to cut through nerves there. It was a while for the healing process but i'm back to doing everything I did before. I'm right y so it really didn't affect me I just got use to it. It's just tricky to shave my armpit when I can feel anything I have to follow my hand to shave. No cuts yet. LOL.


      over 3 years ago

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