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lymphedema resulting from RP, and effects from radiation

Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2010

I broached this in a previous post I started, but the discussion veered away, so I'll try again.
About a year after my RP, I developed lymphedema of the feet and ankles. Although my urologist/surgeon was somewhat in denial that this was a result of the surgery, which removed about a dozen lymph nodes, it was clear enough to me. The situation is kept controllable with constant wearing of support stockings and appropriate exercise.
As I review the salvage treatment possibilities that a possible recurrence of the cancer might indicate, I see nothing about the possible effects of radiation treatment on the continued proper functioning of lymph nodes that may be, either intentionally or not, zapped along with everything else in the immediate neighborhood the ex-prostate. So, first, did anyone else here have lymphedema as a side effect of RP? And secondly, does anyone know about the effect of radiation, probably of the IMRT variety, on lymph nodes and the functioning of the lymphatic system?

dakotarunner's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2004

I had RP in2004, and developed lymphedema in my left leg, ankle and foot in late summer of 2009. Like you, I have to wear a Jobst stocking (30-40) during the day. At night I wear a special full length foam boot, with adjustable velcro straps for compression. There apparently is no cure for the problem, just have to live with it, darn it.

Posts: 26
Joined: Jun 2010

My husband had RP in July 2010 at Mayo. He also had an extended lymph node dissection , where they take over 20 of the pelvic lymph nodes instead of just the local ones. ( more aggressive surgery- luckily they were all negative). Surgeon told us prior to surgery that a small number of men (he had only 1) can have problems with edema in the legs after removing that many nodes. Fortunately my husband has not had that experience, although for about 3 weeks post op, the swelling was unbelievable. Hope that helps, sounds like its something that does occur.

Posts: 25
Joined: Aug 2011


My Mom was diagonised with colorectal in May'11


The recent pet scan lit up a node along right internal illiac vessels in pelvis with suv-19.5 and interval followup had shown mild

increase in size. The CEA has rose from 4.65(in Mar'13) to 8.69(now) so the doc says its mostly malignant.


The onc says since its only single node, surgical removal will be beneficial.

We will be talking to the surgeon tom for the possible pelvic lymph node dissection.


Wanted to know if any one have had surgery to remove the same.

What complications and risks should be expected after pelvic lymph node dissection ?


Do you know if this will cause lymphedema?


Thanks a lot for any help.




Son of mom,

May'11 - surgery to remove the tumour in rectum

Found stage 3c. ( 10/26 nodes +ve)

June - Dec' 11 folfox chemo + radiation

Dec'11 - pet ct – clear

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