Care of arm with lymph nodes removed

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Anthi
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 1/14/2007 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello.  I wonder if anyone can enlighten me.  I had 32 nodes removed at my recent surgery and remember being told to be careful with that arm and to cover up cuts etc.
 
What about little grazes -  like a little hairline sized scratch - the sort of thing which  normally heals up with no problem in a couple of days and which we would never normally dream about covering up ? Is something as small as that likely to get infected?  Do I need to cover up even little scratches? How would I know if I got an infection?
 
I've been doing my exercises dutifully since the day after my surgery and apart from an uncomfortable seroma under my arm (been drained 4 times so far and the horrible thing is filling up yet again ! !)  I have no problems with the arm.  Sorry to be such a worrier, but I would like to know how significant these little scratches could be.
thanks
Anthi

debbiR
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 1/14/2007 10:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Anthi! You aren't a worrier. Your surgeon should have told you this info. Yes, you have to protect that arm. Because you have had your lymph nodes removed, the drainage that is normally done thru the lymph nodes is now compromised. Here are a few things that my surgeon told me:

..Always keep the arm covered or use good sun block when outside, esp when in the sun.

..Don't use a regular razor to shave under the arm. Use only an electric razor.

..Be careful when getting your nails done..around the cuticle area. No cuts.

..When working outside in the yard or garden, always wear a glove.

..Don't lift anything heavy w/ that arm.

..When you get a cut or bug bite, watch it very, very closely for an infection.

..When flying (on a plane..lol) always wear a special sleeve. You can get one made that is just for your arm size.

..If you notice any redness or you think that there is any swelling, contact your physician immediately.

I have to admit that I don't always follow these rules, but I try. I really do protect my arm at all costs.

Keep doing your exercises. One that I found still works is when I am in the shower, I will place my hand against the wall and walk it up the wall as high as I can w/out pain. The hot water helps relax the muscles.

Hugs..Deb


 


Anthi
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 1/15/2007 11:02 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello Deb and thanks for this very useful advice. 

Best wishes

Anthi


postal2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1106
   Posted 1/17/2007 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Anthi, A good place to checkout about lymphedema is at www.lymphnet.org  This site has lots of information!

Take care, Gail


  It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth -- and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
 
Elisabeth Kubler Ross


Anthi
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 1/17/2007 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Many thanks Gail - I'll have a look at that.

Best wishes

Anthi

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