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PT for Lymphedema?


Has anyone else been sent to PT to stave off lymphedema after having lymph nodes removed? My surgery was a month ago and I have no symptoms. I just don’t want to waste more time and money if I don’t need to.

Thank you for any insight!



  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,453

    Yes, I was referred to a PT. She took baseline measurements of my arm, taught me MLD as well as writing a prescription for a sleeve to use at certain times (like flying though I think this recommendation has changed). I found this very helpful and I don’t recall seeing her more than two or three times. My le is so mild that no one but me notices it and I like to think that learning proper self care contributed to this.

  • weninwi
    weninwi Member Posts: 588
    edited May 10

    I concur with exbrnxgrl's opinion. I had only one lymph node removed and still developed mild lymphedema in my breast only. It came on slowly and was a surprise to me as I had not been forewarned. I'm glad my surgeon then made a referral to OT (in my case) for lymphedema massage. I had maybe two visits and then was taught the technique to use at home with good results. My breast lymphedema was intermittent and has since resolved.

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 45

    thank you!
    I just went to my appointment and am very happy my to learn how proactive my doctors are being! My measurements are good and have no issues. She helped me order 2 compression bras. My sports bra is ok but I have large breasts and I need it a bit more snug.

    thank you again! Kristen

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,453

    Excellent! I think you hit the nail on the head with the word proactive. I know you don’t want more medical appointments, but unless your LE becomes a serious issue you’re likely not to have a long relationship with your pt. Haven’t seen mine in a decade but truly value those few visits as they taught me a lot.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 677

    I had 3 nodes removed and was not sent to PT, but earlier this spring (4+ years after surgery), I started to feel uncomfortable in that area and my oncologist's office sent me to their PT department.

    They measured me and said that it looked subclinical, but said that removal of lymph nodes always means lymphedema even if they weren't sure whether my current symptoms actually were lymphedema. They did some exercises with me and recommended some sleeves to help with the discomfort. I felt much better physically and mentally after. I ended up buying a soft sleeve and gauntlet out of pocket and I wear them occasionally as needed.

    I'm glad you went and had a good experience! It is annoying to have one more thing on the seemingly never ending list of medical appointments, but hopefully long term it will help with prevention, peace of mind, and already having some familiarity and making it less scary and lowering obstacles to care in case symptoms ever develop.

  • justagalwholoveslife
    justagalwholoveslife Member Posts: 45

    you are so right! I’m so glad I went.