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Mastectomy - Blood pressure/blood draws which arm?

butterflylvr's picture
butterflylvr
Posts: 943
Joined: Apr 2011

Hello beautiful Pink sisters,

This has always confused me because I've seen different answers multiple times. I understand that if you had a mastectomy, your blood work/blood pressure checks should be administered on your opposite side of the body. Now with a double mastectomy which side is it done? I know at my cancer clinic here in Green Bay they do all my work on my right side (tumor was in left breast).

I find it amazing how certain parts of the country attack their approach on treatment options differently. I'm curious what they do in your neck of the woods.

Hugs,
Lorrie

teresa41's picture
teresa41
Posts: 453
Joined: Jun 2009

it depends on wich side the lymph nodes were taken from .i had a double masectomy they took all my lymph nodes from the left side so they only have my right side for blood draw and blood pressure.

teresa

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I had a bilateral, 14 lymph nodes removed on left side, lymphedema on left side. I do BP on my legs, and blood draws/needles on my feet.

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

I get my blood pressure taken on the side where I didn't have bc or any lymph nodes taken out. I had a lumpectomy though.

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

I get my blood pressure taken on the side where I didn't have bc or any lymph nodes taken out. I had a lumpectomy though.

Rague
Posts: 3305
Joined: Aug 2009

Don't blood draws hurt in foot? Hands do so I would think feet would be even worse. I only had a unilateral mast so not a problem for my great veins in left arm (no I'm not being sarcastic they really are 'great' - I get told that I don't have women's veins but mens. LOL) so draws are not a problem for me - also still have my port so it's always an option if needed. If foot draws hurt as much as I think they might, have you asked about using EMLA cream to make it more bearable?

Susan

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 2008

I can tell you the way we do it in Idaho. Since I only had lymph nodes removed on my left side, all BPs and labs are done on my right. xoxoxoxo Lynn

mamolady's picture
mamolady
Posts: 795
Joined: May 2011

Lorrie,
They do the BP on the lower left leg. I am nervous about the arm since I had lymph nodes out on both sides. I think the lymph nodes is the thing not the mastectomy. I have had blood work on the left arm (more LN out on right) and that was not a problem. My PT said the pressure was the worst trigger since they uses sterile needles and gloves and such.

Cindy

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8255
Joined: Aug 2009

your Oncologist and Plastic Surgeon. Bilateral Princess here, as well .. Blood pressure must 'ALWAYS' .. always been taken on ankle. Frustrating as it take several nurses or PA to get a reading .. Blood pressure on ankle has never been successful first time out

Blood draws can be taken on opposite arm (of lymph nodes removal).

*Please note: ankle blood pressure results are 10% to 12% higher -- than results taken on arms.

Vicki Sam

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

From what I understand it is not the mastectomy itself that necessitates needle and bp restrictions but the removal of lymph nodes. I had a bilateral mastectomy with sentinel nodes taken on both sides, which although puts me at risk for lymphedema, I consider myself at minimal risk. My physical therapist, however, raised holy heck with me to not let anyone do it. I did have actual axillary nodes taken out on the right, can't remember how many. Anyway, I had stopped letting them take bp's on either arm after the severe PMPS neuropathy I had. BPS would cause me to hurt for days!! I have gotten flack from one nurse so far. I now wear a medic alert bracelet that says no needles, no bp's in either arm.
I will be getting my ovaries removed this fall, which should have been done last April (due to a surg techs incompetence, it was cancelled the day before which I raised holy h e double toothpicks about). I do not want to wake up with my arm pain back, so I will be writing in marker on my own arms that no needles, no bps on both arms. I suppose I could have them do it before I go under when I am actually awake to see it.

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

Btw,a big wave from Mosinee, WI...just south of Wausau where I go for treatments!!

cahjah75's picture
cahjah75
Posts: 2623
Joined: Jun 2010

it is all about the nodes. I had bilateral mastectomy and no lymph node involvement so I can have blood draw from either side as well as bp. Ask your dr and see what he says.
{{hugs}} Char

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

I have to use the side where I didn't have my lumpectomy and sentinal node taken out.

Leeza

butterflylvr's picture
butterflylvr
Posts: 943
Joined: Apr 2011

Thanks everyone, it is starting to make a lot more sense now. For my bi-lateral mastectomy I just had sentinel nodes removed. So I suppose they could have used either arm for my checks, but because my tumor was left side they told me always right. I do have to chuckle though, when I had my mastectomy surgery, the pre-op nurse put my IV into my left leg just above my ankle. Since I was having a bi-lateral mastectomy followed up with immediate reconstruction there were two doctors in the OR with me often times working tangentially putting me back together. When I woke up in post op, my IV was in my right arm. Silly doctors...

Oh and Cinnamonsmile... We are almost neighbors for goodness sake. I think I can see you waving. LOL

Hugs,
Lorrie

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

Thanks for the smile Lorrie, I am a little down today. You put the first smile on my face today!! I will wave again lol.

renee616's picture
renee616
Posts: 181
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi Lorrie
I just found this info out myself the other day when I went for lab work & BP. I had surgery on my right side recently & the mastectomy on left, so I asked how they would do the lab work. Dr said If lymph nodes were removed, thats the only reason not to do it on that side. that it was fine to do it if only surgery was done.
Have a Great weekend!
Renee

skipper54's picture
skipper54
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2011

and he said no needles or IVs in right arm (right side mastectomy with 9 lymph nodes removed) but that there was no evidence to support a problem with BP in that arm. I'm still going to go for the other arm though since I have that option.

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