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April 28, 2005

Post-Operative Swelling

Post-operative swelling is a side effect of some cancer treatments. If lymph nodes are removed, swelling of the area affected by the surgery can overwhelm the nodes that are left. This may be a lifelong problem for some called lymphedema.

Disruption of lymph channels and lymph nodes makes it difficult for lymph fluid to find its way back into the circulation. The area of the body where the lymph channels are missing swells with retained fluid. That is often the consequence in breast surgery when lymph nodes and lymph channels under the arm have to be removed.

Some things you can do is elevate the affected limb, wear compression garments, and see a certified lymphedema specialist for lymph drainage therapy that will help keep the swelling under control and assist with self-care.

Posted by linda at April 28, 2005 5:27 PM

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