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Thank you. I am terrified of getting lymphedema and your answer is very encouraging.

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Replies to "Thank you. I am terrified of getting lymphedema and your answer is very encouraging."

Hello Sandy Jr - I was also very worried about lymphedema as a result of the lymph node dissection. I only had the sentinel nodes removed on both sides (I had a bi lateral mastectomy) BUT...........I did get lymphedema on my left arm. I will qualify it though......the surgeon had a rough time on the left side removing the node...it was tiny (which is good news because it meant right away that it didn't have cancer and also it wasn't on the side of my breasts where I had cancer anyway....sigh.
I spent about a year in physical therapy and massage therapy, followed by a 'scar revision' surgery which removed extra tissue and mostly resolved the issue.
My advice would be..........don't 'worry' but do educate yourself on lymphedema - what to look for, how it's treated and what you can do to reduce your risk of ever getting it if possible. I did all of that and I'm glad I had a clear understanding of the condition and how to treat it BEFORE I got it........can't hurt......PLUS, the lymph system and how to have a healthy one is very overlooked in medicine and there are some great benefits to managing your lymph system and understanding it's function and health.

Sandy, I agree with Cindy. Put your worry into getting informed (as you are doing here) and taking wise precautions. The possibility of lymphedema is lower with sentinel lymph node biopsy than axillary lymph node dissection where several lymph nodes are removed. Low risk, however is not zero risk. Here's a helpful article:

Lymphedema Risk Factors https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/lymphedema/risk_factors