• maryloumiles' Avatar

    maryloumiles asked a questionBreast Cancer

    Is lymphadema after radical mastectomy preventable? What are some strategies? Im due for surgery in mid Jan. 2019.

    11 answers
    • ruthieq's Avatar
      ruthieq

      Lymphedema after mastectomy depends on how may lymphnodes they take. One or two may not develop any LE but it’s not impossible. If they take more because of involvement, then LE is fairly inevitable. Any time you disrupt the lymph system there is potential of backup of fluid. Keeping vigilant, following precautions will minimize LE. If you discover swelling beginning get a referral to an LE specialist in physical therapy. They can help with strategies and massage to reduce it and fit you for a sleeve to keep LE down.

      6 months ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      I developed lymphedema during chemo. Getting to a therapist for lymphatic massages is very important. Some surgeons have patients wear a sleeve after surgery for prevention. Experimental surgery is being performed at the time of axillary dissections to reconnect the passages for lymph fluid. Sounds like a breakthru, but will probably be a long time before insurance approves it.
      Meanwhile, get to the dr at the first sign of swelling, tightness, aches. It can be controlled with massages, sleeves, compression pumps, etc.
      I still use my arm for everything, has not restricted anything I need to do.
      We just all need to be very aware of any changes. Wishing the best for all going thru this.

      6 months ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      The only reason they took four nodes instead of two was that each of my two sentinels had a non-sentinel stuck to it (like a bunch of grapes).

      6 months ago
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