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Topic: SNB/blood draws

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Jul 2, 2007 02:51PM

tam1953 wrote:

What are people hearing about the advisability of blood draws from the arm where a SNB was done? I know this is not advisable after a lymph node dissection, but don't know what the standard is following SNB.

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Posts 1 - 19 (19 total)

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Jul 2, 2007 02:58PM jpann39 wrote:

When I had my SNB the doc told me to never let anyone take my blood pressure, draw blood or give shots in that side.....I asked since they only removed a few nodes why it was so important and he said that he has seen women that only had 2 removed end up with issues from it so he ALWAYS recommends not allowing those things just as a safe guard...

'Gain strength by the positive and don't be sapped by the negative" Dx 11/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 2, 2007 03:03PM Sandra1957 wrote:

My doc also told me the same. I had a bilateral, but a SNB only my left side. I still worry about my right side and wonder what would have happened had I had a SNB on that side too.

I'm always steppin' in and out of crap!
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Jul 2, 2007 03:07PM MinAZ wrote:

I had SNB on one side and my doctor said while it's unlikely I'll ever have lymphedema, it is nevertheless possible in the future. So no pressure cuffs, blood draws, etc., on that side.

Dx 10/15/2006, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 2, 2007 03:24PM Jenny812 wrote:

My breast surgeon says that it's fine to treat my SNB arm normally - so OK, from his point of view, to do draws, pressure, etc.
Jenny J.
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Jul 2, 2007 03:30PM musi wrote:

I had a SNB on both sides but never only had 3 or 4 tiny nodes removed from each side. I had no problems with lymphedema whatsoever. I have blood pressure taken on either arm and haven't had any problems. My mastectomies were 15 months ago.

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Jul 2, 2007 03:32PM musi wrote:

Sorry. Take out the word "never" in the first sentence. That's what I get for not previewing my post!

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Jul 2, 2007 04:22PM mbordo wrote:

If you only had nodes taken on one side, it is a good idea to use the other for any medical procedures requiring an arm. Chances are small you will trigger lymphedema, but *if* it happens, it is something you have to deal with forever, so why take the chance? Doctors don't know a whole lot about lymphedema - the LE forum here is VERY informative. I learned a lot from talking to a woman who has it @ my support group. Apparently it is a real hassle and impacts day-to-day living. It can happen even years after surgery...With SNB the risk is still there, though lower.

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Jul 2, 2007 04:32PM wallycat wrote:

My breast surgeon also said that SNB would not typically give me problems. Still, if I have an option, I give them the other arm. After my bilaterals, they took BP from my leg (I had to laugh when the nurse said she admired me because she'd rather have lymph. than show anyone her thigh, HAHAHAHA).

I will continue to baby the SNB side as long as I can just to be safe.
Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Jul 2, 2007 04:49PM Jenny812 wrote:

One question for those of you who don't use their SNB side for any medical procedures - do you shave with a blade razor on your SNB side or do you just use an electric razor?

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Jul 2, 2007 08:03PM tam1953 wrote:

I shave with an electric razor because I have some numbness there and don't want to cut myself.

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Jul 2, 2007 08:39PM mbordo wrote:

I'm somewhat numb as well, and I've been using Nair...

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Jul 2, 2007 09:20PM iodine wrote:

I agree that most docs don't have enough respect for lymphedema and it's lifetime misery!
Please, if you've had SNB, do not allow any BP, IV, Sticks, or restrictions to that arm. Even a tight watch band or wedding ring.
If you go in for a procedure and will not be concious, write on that arm with magic marker in large letters NO CUFFS OR STICKS.
Please review the lymphedema section on this site for some more information.
As noted above, you can get lymphedema years and years down the road, even with only a few lymph nodes removed. SNB was begun to lessen the chance of getting it, and has been successful, but is no guarantee.
Dotti---BE NOT AFRAID, Pope John Paul
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Jul 2, 2007 10:53PM Melanie53 wrote:

I had SNB done on both sides and keep getting different answers from doctors regarding BP and draws. My breast surgeon told me not to worry, my oncologist said to wait six months and then only have it done in a hospital setting, and the other doctors have their own opinions. I still don't know what to do, and I'm scheduled to have my exchange surgery in August.

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Jul 3, 2007 06:38AM msmimi wrote:

I always have BP done on my ankle. They draw blood on the SNB side from my hand and have even inserted an intraveneous line in the same hand for a recent cystoscopy. The left side, however, had an axillary node biopsy and may not be touched. Long story short: I have had no problems with the SNB side.

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Jul 3, 2007 08:57AM tam1953 wrote:

I forgot all about this until I got home from the hospital. My snb was done outpatient, but I had an inpatient mastectomy later and didn't think to tell the nurses about the snb. As a result, I had blood draws, IVs, BPs etc. Now I am being more careful.

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Jul 3, 2007 02:07PM jlazyk wrote:

I had a full lymph node dissection on right and SNB on left. They use my left arm for everything including 8 weeks of chemo and a year of Herceptin. I never had a problem.

I do sometimes wonder because I had my breast surgery and SNB at a different place did it really register that I actually had an SNB on the left???

I had asked if I needed a port and they really didn't think so. I didn't want a port anyway and I sure didn't want to use my feet.

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Jul 3, 2007 04:36PM MaryGirl wrote:

I've also gotten conflicting stories from different docs about this issue.

I had 2 lymph nodes removed on my right side, one during the SNB and one during the masts. Unfortunately, the only good vein I have in my arms is on my right side, so I steer the nurses in that direction when they need to do a blood draw. The alternative is to endure multiple painful sticks in the left side while they try to hit a vein. Been there, done that...too many times. I inow I'm taking I'm taking my chances, but so far haven't had any problems with lymphedema.

dx 8/06, bilat mast w/DIEP 9/06
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Jul 3, 2007 10:11PM Jennifer wrote:

I had a SNB on my right side and then an axillery node dissection 3 weeks later and developed lymphedema almost immediately. I also had a SNB on the left side and thank goodness no lymphedema on the left side. I try when possible to use my foot for blood and IV's. You do need a doctors order for the blood draw. For an IV you need to make prior arrangements so a staff memeber with experience doing so can be assigned to you. I have also had to use my left arm/hand for both as well. In my opinion you do what you have to do to protect yourself, but I have also come to realize sometimes you will not have an option. Of course there are no procedures on my right side and I wear a pink bracelet when I will have a procedure done that indicates this.
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Jul 4, 2007 08:45AM Patrish wrote:

since my lymph node dissection, I wear a medical alert bracelet on my right arm to make sure that if I am ever unconscious, no procedures will be done on that arm. you can order them online, very reasonable. Pat

Patrish Dx 10/26/2005, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 5/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+

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