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swelling from lymph node removal

stmgriffin's picture
stmgriffin
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi, I had a radical mastectomy June 10,2009 and eleven lymph nodes removed? Can anyone tell me approx. how long does it take the swelling to go down under your arm?..Seems like it is taking forever..

Terri5
Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2009

It's been awhile since my surgery, and I don't remember exactly how long it took, but I know it eventually went down. Make sure you keep an eye on swelling in the arm and hand, it was quite awhile later that my started to swell.

Terri5
Posts: 24
Joined: Jul 2009

It's been awhile since my surgery, and I don't remember exactly how long it took, but I know it eventually went down. Make sure you keep an eye on swelling in the arm and hand, it was quite awhile later that my started to swell.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

Hi stmgriffin. I had a lumpectomy and only had the sentinal node removed, so, I didn't have much swelling. But, I would think that you are still pretty new out of surgery and that you will be swollen for awhile. Call your surgeon if you are concerned. They can be more specific.

Good luck!

Bev1969's picture
Bev1969
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2009

I had a mastectomy on May 15, 2009 and had sixteen lymph nodes removed. I have swelling under my armpit and around my side - straight around from where my breast was (I also have an expander in). My surgeon said it may go down eventually or may just be that way. I had to buy bras that are bigger around because I couldn't fasten my old ones - they wouldn't fit around anymore. I'm hoping it eventually goes down. Is that where your swelling is? I don't have any in my arm. I will have reconstruction after my chemo and radiation is over.

Kat11's picture
Kat11
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

I had surgery June 3 with 22 nodes removed and I am still having problems. However it is getting better as time goes by. Still have a burning feeling, and I am numb in spots.

debragood1's picture
debragood1
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2009

I had sentinel node removed on both sides on 4/22. It took a while for my underarms to feel normal and not to hurt. For a while, it felt as if both sides of the armpit were lined with sandpaper and were rubbing against each other. It was bad/weird. Luckily, I called the woman who I shared a hospital room with who had the same procedure and she had the same sensation. Give it a few months and it will be less painful and more near to your new normal.

It does get better. Hang in there.

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

It probably is normal, but, you might want to call your surgeon to check and see.

Good luck!

stmgriffin's picture
stmgriffin
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for the reply debragood1, I am just wondering what the new normal is gonna be..HA..HA..

stmgriffin's picture
stmgriffin
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Kat11, Thanks for the reply. I also have the numbness.. Kinda weird feeling..

stmgriffin's picture
stmgriffin
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Bev1969. yes my swelling is in the same place as yours and I also have an expander. They are going to start filling my expander with solution next week. Have you had yours filled yet? If so, did it hurt?..I was very lucky and did not have to take chemo. I will be taking medication by mouth..Also, I have not put a bra on yet, and I am wondering what to fill the empty side of my bra with..Any advice?? Thank you for answering my question about the swelling..

Bev1969's picture
Bev1969
Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2009

I had around four injections of the solution in my expander before I started chemo. It does not hurt when they fill it but it does get a little sore and tight for a couple days until you get used to it. It's not really too bad. My plastic surgeon didn't want me to wear anything tight at the beginning so he had me wear a camisole at first. When I did start wearing a bra, I started with a sports bra and the expander was filled enough that it fit pretty good. I'm not large anyway so now I can even wear a bra and it's not too bad. I think I'm a little lopsided but as long as I don't wear anything skin tight, my husband says you can't tell.

mlmjt1
Posts: 540
Joined: Jul 2009

I had bilateral mastectomy on May 13 with expanders on both sides. I had a complication on the right where the cancer actually was. I had 21 lymphnodes removed with only the sentinel node positive. My surgeon told me I had a lot of scar tissue in my axilla so dissecting the nodes was difficult. As far as the swelling goes, ask your doctor to give you a referral for occupational therapy to teach you exercises and lymphedema massage. There is a special technique to help redirect the lymphatic fluid to alternate channels and the occupational therapist is what you need. Best of luck to you and let me know if you try some ot

Kellogg
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2018

I just had surgery a little over a week ago.  The breast tissue rebounded quickly, but they removed two lymph nodes for testing and that is what is still causing me pain   How long before I can resume to normal activities?  I have fought this thing since day one and don't plan on slowing down.  I find if I slow down, I have time to overthink and get scared.  I know many people are in a worse place than me.  I'm sorry if I wasted any of yalls time, but any information will help.  I try to avoid Google!   I am proud of everyone! 

Beepositive
Posts: 259
Joined: Mar 2017

Hello Dont ever feel you are waisting anyones time...We are all here to express our feeling ..Everyone system is SOOO different so we cant offer any advise..please continue to talk to your doctors concerning your pain.. I had several lymph node removed also and still having some pain discomfort. my dr referred me to the lymphedema clinic for special exercise that they show you to help fluid to contunue to circulate (this was after my checkup after surgery).  Hang in there and Keep talking to your doctors..

PRAYS AND HUGS

bEEPOSITIVE 

Teach76's picture
Teach76
Posts: 351
Joined: Jul 2015

What we often forget is that although our wounds seem to be healing nicely on the exterior, there is still a lot of healing on the inside that needs to happen.  Once initial swelling goes down and nerves begin to regenerate there can be twinges and feelings of discomfort.  I did not have any full range of motion for about 2 months.

As always, each surgery is different, and your team will give the best direction for you.

Be well,

Kathy

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