• Is it ever good to use a masectomy arm for blood pressure, taking blood or allowing it to be used for chemo?

    Asked by pigeon on Monday, February 20, 2012

    Is it ever good to use a masectomy arm for blood pressure, taking blood or allowing it to be used for chemo?

    I have protected this arm for 20 years and now the doctor is saying that arm could be used if needed. I don't have a good feeling about that and wonder if others have experience with this. I don't want to add another side effect needlessly, such as edema.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • leepenn's Avatar

      If you have a bad feeling and another arm to use.... I would say, use the arm you're comfortable with.

      20 years out is a long time... If the docs feel like it's okay, it PROBABLY is okay... but I'm a big fan of going with your gut.

      How much chemo will you have? Is a port an option for you?

      over 9 years ago
    • Cath1953's Avatar

      I was told not to use tha arm, will I had lymph nodes taken out too.

      over 9 years ago
    • agyness' Avatar

      I had exactly the same done but I use that arm as my other arm is shot...so far so good . Depends on if your arm has Lympohdema
      Best to not use it if you have veins in the other arm you can use.

      over 9 years ago
    • hikerchick's Avatar

      I had bilateral mastectomy a year ago. Which arm? neither, if possible. They can take blood pressure on my leg (but usually won't) or on my forearms. To take blood, they have to use the back of my hands, which does not always go well (5 stabs from 2 different techs the first time).
      Personally, lymphedema can happen at ANY time and is not well understood, as the medical profession will even admit. If you can avoid risking it, you'll be better off. Once a problem with lymphedema, always a problem with lymphedema.

      over 9 years ago
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      I was told that which arm to use had more to do with the removal of lymph nodes and not the removal of the breast. I had a bilateral mastectomy with lymph nodes removed on the left side. So far I haven't had any problems with blood pressure being taken on the right side but it's only been a month since surgery.

      I agree with leepenn-if you don't have a good feeling about something there is usually a reason for it. Go with your gut. Best wishes to you:)

      over 9 years ago
    • pigeon's Avatar

      Thanks to all for answering... not sure how much chemo at this time... anywhere from 2 to 6 treatments... guess my "gut" is telling me not to use that arm because lymph nodes were removed on that side and I've never had problem with lymphedema but don't want to start after 20 years...

      over 9 years ago
    • liznesh's Avatar

      I don't have an answer as far as mastectomy arm, but my bone cancer was in my arm and have never felt comfortable having blood drawn or blood pressure taken from it. Lots of muscle tissue and lymph nodes were taken out of it. I always use my "good" arm.

      almost 9 years ago

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