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Pain almost a year after lymph node removal


I had a lumpectomy and three lymph nodes removed last August. I went to PT off and on for a seroma, cording and the onset of lymphedema. The cording is a lot better than it was. But I’m having more pain/tenderness in the back of my arm and underarm again. I stretch every day and try to drink a lot of water. Just wondering if my arm will ever feel normal again or if I’m just going to deal with ongoing issues after having nodes removed.


  • sjh15
    sjh15 Member Posts: 2

    I am 2 years out from a double mastectomy, immediate DIEP reconstruction and lymph node dissection. As I type, I am sitting with an ice pack under my arm to ease the aching and swelling. I don’t have the answers on this, but I can definitely sympathize with you. I did book an appointment with my doctor next week just to be sure there’s nothing else happening and to discuss treatment options for lymphedema.

  • salamandra
    salamandra Member Posts: 745

    I am almost five years out and I'm still having issues. Luckily it's mostly mild and it comes and goes, and it's not clinical lymphedema. Last time I got it checked out by my doctor and she said that it's normal because it's nerve damage that can persist for ages, maybe forever.

    Sometimes I wear a mild compression sleeve just for comfort, and that helps.

    I do feel like recovery from the SNL biopsy was the most surprising thing for me - the thing that I felt least warned/educated about by my generally really excellent medical team.

    I'd say it's generally gotten better over time, but I'm not back to normal yet, for sure.

  • trv4764
    trv4764 Member Posts: 22

    Salamandra I agree - there should definitely be more dialogue about the “aftermath” of SNL biopsies.

  • italianchef
    italianchef Member Posts: 13

    I totally agree - I developed an abscess in the SNL biopsy site during my radiation treatment (luckily, it did not stop or delay treatment, but it took months to heal), and now I'm dealing with lymphedema and cording. I just had my first PT visit with a therapist specializing in lymphedema resulting from breast cancer surgeries, so hopefully I can get it under control. I did experience some immediate relief, but I know it will take some time.

    Perhaps it was because so much information is thrown at you from the point of diagnosis, you are so focused on surgical decisions and treatment decisions, and not thinking about the other stuff that happens afterwards!