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    jennqt asked a questionBreast Cancer

    Has anyone found a good resource for strategies to manage lymphedema?

    6 answers
    • ElsaG's Avatar
      ElsaG

      What helped me was going through six weeks of physical therapy by someone who specializes specifically on lymphedema. She worked on me twice a week for 45 minutes then wrapped my hand and arm in bandages that were also specific to the condition. The therapist also taught me how to massage the hand and arm regularly to help control swelling. I don't know what you're referring to as manual drainage because I understand there's several methods of treating lymphedema, but this manual method did wonders for me. On hot days it will swell up a little bit more but I don't think that will ever go away. I also have a custom made sleeve which is more effective than the over the counter ones.

      about 4 years ago
    • doglady's Avatar
      doglady

      Using your hands and arms as much as you can tolerate is helpful at keeping the fluids circulating. Also, keeping it elevated on a pillow when not doing anything is helpful. Hope that helps.

      about 4 years ago
    • raven's Avatar
      raven

      I have lymphedema in my chest, back , and upper arm. I have several strategies in my arsenal that I use as needed. These include manual massage twice daily, commercial compression sleeve, prescription compression vest at night, I also find that mowing the lawn always helps - guess it is the vibration. On an alternative medicine side I have had GREAT success with Specific Frequency Microcurrent, I drink a strong tea (8 hour brew time) of bedstraw (also known as cleavers), essential oil of grapefruit diluted with a carrier oil when I massage (taking 1 - 3 drops of essential oil of grapefruit orally has been recommended - I have not done this - but if you decide to try it be sure the oil is recommended for internal use - most are not), I also rebound on a mini-trampoline which is reported to be beneficial due to the split second of zero gravity at the top of the jump.

      about 4 years ago
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    Procedure or Surgery (Hysterectomy + Oophrectomy): Davinci Robot was a wonderful way to minimize recovery for this surgery! I'm a fan!

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    Side Effects (Hot flashes): Tamoxifen + radiation = Ovarian issues = Hysterectomy and immediate menopause at age 40.

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    jennqt shared an experience

    Side Effects (Lymphedema): Right hand and arm lymphedema, typically mild, but increases with activity or warm weather. Compression glove helps, once I found one that fit well.

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    • Laugh's Avatar
      Laugh

      I am also a patient who landed up with lyphedema about 8 months after a full year of chemo and 2 months of radiation. I had all lymph nodes removed because 5 were also cancerous. ( please refer to my page under Laugh and topic Radiation. There is one solution that has helped to stabilize the size of my arm over the years. The procedure was completely covered by my insurance and medicare also does. Only very few doctors have been trained in this procedure. My Doctor is a plastic surgeon and does implants and micro surgery an he's the only one in L.A. County that does {Venous Anastamosis Surgery) For me, the size remains the same after 7 years since surgery. The reason is because the arm was large despite several years of the wraps and massage .
      My Doctor is Dr. James J. Black,[phone number redacted] Address, 22930 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance Ca. 90505. You'll find more info of my experience and factors that caused the arm to swell. Of course the only factor that doesn't change is that we are still likely to get swelling or infections.

      Venous Anastamosis ties slender veins to the closest ducts. (Each vein is the width of one eyelash. And due to the drainage the antiquated and useless procedures are unnecessary. See what you find out. He may know someone in your area since it's not as well known by even my oncologist when I first asked him. There was one in Milan Italy but but too far for me.

      Please email me if you wish further info. [email redacted] but please indicate the message to me with What's Next so i'll know not to delete "another email" Thanks Laugh.

      about 4 years ago
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    Radiation (External radiation )