Lymphedema After Treatment Lymphedema After Breast Cancer Treatment Lymphedema is swelling, usually of an arm or leg that is caused by the disruption of the flow of normal lymph fluid. Lymphedema is a possible result of either removing lymph nodes or something disrupting the normal function of the lymph nodes. If treatment begins quickly after symptoms appear, you can lower your risk of infections and complications. Prevention What you need to know about prevention James Butterworth, MD , plastic surgeon, talks about lymphedema treatment and prevention. Knowing the symptoms of lymphedema is also key for patients. We believe that patients at risk for development of lymphedema can have onsets related to injury of the arm.
What Is Cancer-related Lymphedema?
Lymphedema What Is Cancer-related Lymphedema? Lymphedema limf-uh-DEE-muh is a build-up of lymph fluid in the fatty tissues just under your skin. This build-up causes swelling, most often in the arms or legs. Lymphedema can also affect the face, neck, abdomen belly , and genitals — depending on the part of the body that was treated.
Breast Cancer: Lymphedema After Treatment
Overcoming lymphedema Building your individualized lymphedema management plan After breast cancer surgery , our Lymphedema Management Program may help prevent lymphedema and, if it occurs, help you proactively manage, and potentially reverse, the condition. Helping to prevent lymphedema: Your surgeon may perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy prior to surgery to determine which lymph nodes need to be removed, while helping to preserve remaining lymph nodes in the axilla. Your oncology rehabilitation therapist may provide gentle range-of-motion exercises, massage and education techniques you can use in your day-to-day life to stimulate your lymphatic system.
Lymphedema can occur months or years after treatment. But steps can be taken to help keep it from starting, and to reduce or relieve symptoms. If left untreated, lymphedema can get worse.