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Lymphedema of the neck

Posts: 177
Joined: Dec 2009

So after doing some research I have Lymphedema of the neck, pretty good. Increased pain, celluitus of left ear, etc... I had a CT scan done last Wednesday and meet with a new ENT doctor this monday. What are some of the things that I can do to help this go away. I am on antibiotics for the skin infection, which hurts like hell. I rub my neck and head continuosly. Did they send you to physical therepy? Any sugestions would be great, I am tired of being misserable and so is my family, it must be bleeding out of me.


RushFan's picture
Posts: 223
Joined: Aug 2010

Sorry you have this condition. I had mild lymphedema, but still uncomfortable.

I was given a VERY specific routine of neck massages followed by a specially fitted "pad" that was held under my chin with a stocking head-gear of sorts. It took about 20 minutes a day, every day to go through the routine.

After about a month and a half I was much better and had lost the "fullness" under my chin.

The instructions and headgear set-up came from the speech therapy group at MD Anderson. Since the fluid is just under the surface of the skin, the massaging is done with very light pressure...gently moving the skin in a particular direction, in a specific order to help the lymph fluid "find it's way" down and out. Since the lymphnodes are damaged or sometimes removed, the fluid collects and "turkey neck" appears.

I hope you feel better and get some direction for this.
And I hope you have a good weekend Brad.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Brad, Rush mentions a lot in his post....and as mentioned. The lymphatic pathways have been damaged so the fluid collects. Eventually they will find new pathways and the fluid will ease up. It took several months if not close to a year for most of my swollen neck to subside.


MarineE5's picture
Posts: 907
Joined: Dec 2005


You can try these stretching exercises and gentle massage that I posted some time ago. Here is the link which is now amoung the links for answers that Sweetblood posted in a thread below. You still may want to see a Cancer Physical Therapist to teach you the massage and stretching. Not all Physical Therapists are familiar with the Lymphnode system and the effects we have from the Radiation and Neck Disections.

( http://csn.cancer.org/node/196680 )

My Best to You and Everyone Here

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