Surgery for lymphedema

Posted by dcollier @dcollier, Wed, May 22 5:54pm

Has anyone had one of the surgeries for lymphedema, if so was it successful?

Hi @dcollier, welcome to Connect. I found this article from Mayo Clinic's Ask the Expert series:

– Mayo Clinic Q and A: Lymphedema — when is surgery indicated? https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-lymphedema-when-is-surgery-indicated/

Have you already tried compression therapy and lymphatic massage? Has surgery been suggested for you?

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@colleenyoung

Hi @dcollier, welcome to Connect. I found this article from Mayo Clinic's Ask the Expert series:

– Mayo Clinic Q and A: Lymphedema — when is surgery indicated? https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-lymphedema-when-is-surgery-indicated/

Have you already tried compression therapy and lymphatic massage? Has surgery been suggested for you?

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I had breast cancer in 1996. I never had any noticeable swelling until February 2017. At that time I went back to my surgeon & they then did message and compression. I did this for 3 months with some improvements but swelling again. I suppose you could say I gave up & started researching other treatments. That is when I saw article about Dr. Forte & patient Joni Carithers,…
I wear a sleeve most days & a “ready wrap” if I over use arm. I cannot say my arm is worse but I would love to live without the sleeve. I am left handed & yes my issue is with my left arm.

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@dcollier

I had breast cancer in 1996. I never had any noticeable swelling until February 2017. At that time I went back to my surgeon & they then did message and compression. I did this for 3 months with some improvements but swelling again. I suppose you could say I gave up & started researching other treatments. That is when I saw article about Dr. Forte & patient Joni Carithers,…
I wear a sleeve most days & a “ready wrap” if I over use arm. I cannot say my arm is worse but I would love to live without the sleeve. I am left handed & yes my issue is with my left arm.

Jump to this post

@dcollier
I'm sorry you are going through this and I hope for a brighter future for you. The medical facility I belong to (Kaiser) promotes physical therapy exercises for women at least 10 weeks out of surgery or radiation. Apparently, there is a study showing that by doing this twice a week that lymphedema does not start and for those with lymphedema it helps symptoms. The program comprises of 4, 1-hr sessions where you start with warm up (10 minutes on bicycle) followed by a series of stretching exercises. As the weeks progress, they add weights and core strengthening and all of this is finished off by then the stretching exercises. I'm finding it is helping me considerably with my balance as well as reducing fatigue. Here is an article discussing this: https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/lymphedema/exercise

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