Surgery for lymphedema

Posted by dcollier @dcollier, May 22, 2019

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?

REPLY
@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?

Jump to this post

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.

REPLY
@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

REPLY

I have been dealing with Lymphedema in my left arm arm following left mastectomy and axillary node dissection 3 month ago. I am seeing a physical therapist twice weekly for manual lymphatic massages and have to wear a compression sleeve and camisole to help manage the symptoms. I am left handed, work as a nurse and have been looking for an alternative way to deal with this debilitating side effect. I asked my surgeon about lymph node transfer, he said there was no surgeon in Kentucky specialized and his hospital which is also the hospital I work for does not do that surgery. I would like to know if anyone has had a lymph node transfer or Lymphovenous bypass and were they successful!

REPLY
@sabine66

I have been dealing with Lymphedema in my left arm arm following left mastectomy and axillary node dissection 3 month ago. I am seeing a physical therapist twice weekly for manual lymphatic massages and have to wear a compression sleeve and camisole to help manage the symptoms. I am left handed, work as a nurse and have been looking for an alternative way to deal with this debilitating side effect. I asked my surgeon about lymph node transfer, he said there was no surgeon in Kentucky specialized and his hospital which is also the hospital I work for does not do that surgery. I would like to know if anyone has had a lymph node transfer or Lymphovenous bypass and were they successful!

Jump to this post

I have had bilateral breast cancer 11 years apart and am going for a mastectomy/reconstruction this month. I do not have lymphedema, but am very afraid of getting it. I am not appreciative of most of the medical people I have dealt with having a cavalier attitude about it. If it was them, the story would be different. They just want to do their jobs the easiest way possible. A lot of people in the medical field do not even know about it! WTH? You would think cancer centers would be up to date and be sympathetic about it. Well, forget that…the issue is that the two plastic surgeons that will be doing my reconstruction both do lymph node surgery. I am in NJ. That is not convenient for you, but you may have friends or relatives locally. Anyway, look up Eric Chang MD. Read what healthgrades says about him. They both do microsurgery. Dr Ibrahim is my doctor, but is Dr Chang’s associate at the Plastic Surgery Center.

REPLY
@sandyjr

I have had bilateral breast cancer 11 years apart and am going for a mastectomy/reconstruction this month. I do not have lymphedema, but am very afraid of getting it. I am not appreciative of most of the medical people I have dealt with having a cavalier attitude about it. If it was them, the story would be different. They just want to do their jobs the easiest way possible. A lot of people in the medical field do not even know about it! WTH? You would think cancer centers would be up to date and be sympathetic about it. Well, forget that…the issue is that the two plastic surgeons that will be doing my reconstruction both do lymph node surgery. I am in NJ. That is not convenient for you, but you may have friends or relatives locally. Anyway, look up Eric Chang MD. Read what healthgrades says about him. They both do microsurgery. Dr Ibrahim is my doctor, but is Dr Chang’s associate at the Plastic Surgery Center.

Jump to this post

Thank you sandy for the Information, I will definitely look into it, I agree with you that there is a need for educating healthcare providers on how to provide compassionate care, stay up to date on research and also take the time to listen and educate. Thank you again

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.