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swelling

sueholm's picture
sueholm
Posts: 221
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi, can anyone help...I had a mastectomy, without lymph node removal(that was the last time) nearly two weeks ago. Everything was going fine, then I started to get swelling. I held off on exercises, it went down, then it came back. I want to do the exercises becasue of getting my shoulder back for radiation. Has anyone got any suggestions? Susan

mjdp2's picture
mjdp2
Posts: 142
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Sue, Is the swelling in your arm on the side of surgery? If it is you might be developing lymphedema. Download info from main website on what you can do to treat it. Massage your arm to get the fluids moving. Your doctor may prescribe a "sleeve". Some women get it from lifting too heavy of a wt. I only had a lumpectomy but was told to rest my arm on a pillow several hours a day by keeping elbow at heart level. I was trying to gain mobility cuz I thought radiation was next but as it turned out I was given chemo first and had 4 months to try to place my hand behind my head. I did alot of those "Walk the wall" exercises. Blessings, Margaret

tiger
Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Sue, Even though it is still early after your surgery, you have to keep up on the exercises. Try 'walking the wall' place your fingers on a wall in front of you and walk them up the wall as high as you can, and then do it with your arm extended out to your side. While sitting or standing, hold your arm out to your side and do circles, and then raise it like you are in school. Even when it starts feeling better, you have to keep up with them so the swelling does not come back to badly. Good luck and take care.
Hugs from Tiger

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Sue. Sorry you're having some difficulty. Being you had lymph nodes removed last time this new surgery probably flared everything up and you are experiencing some lymphodema. Con't to do exercise but don't over do it! Sometimes it's better to start lifting your arm overhead while lying down. This is gravity eliminated and less strain. As things improve you can begin to "climb the wall" This is usually best done with both arms at once so you don't twist your body so much and think you're lifting it more than you are. When you massage your arm, it should be elevated above your heart level and massage from your fingertips down toward your shoulder. Always massage toward your heart.If you have any other questions re:ex,I'll try to help you as much as I can. Good luck! Feel good! Cathy

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