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All TopicsForum: Lymphedema → Topic: Lymphedema in left arm, close to armpit

Topic: Lymphedema in left arm, close to armpit

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Aug 31, 2017 02:52PM

Alymamaw16 wrote:

I had a double mastectomy in 92. I had fibrocystic disease. I had 5 sets of silicone implants, as each set ruptured.

They turned hard as a rock and I opted for mastectomy with no reconstruction. I was told right away I had lymphedema in my left arm, but no lymph nodes were removed.

It is in front of the armpit and is visible to the eye.

I was in a car accident in June and since it has become very painful.

I've had the manual massage, with no help.

Is a compression sleeve an option?. The pain is really bad.

I'm thinking the seatbelt has somehow aggravated it, from where the swelling is.

Thank you

Any information would be greatly appreciated

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Aug 31, 2017 06:50PM - edited Aug 31, 2017 06:54PM by hugz4u

you need compression over your breast.try a super tight stretchy Cami or underarmour compression brand men's only tee to relieve pain. At sports store. Get a smaller size to contain swell Also if you have lymphedema in arm you need gauntlet or glove. Essential.

Most important a lymphedema therapist who moves the fluid and will teach you skills to gain control before it controls you. A qualified massage therapist or PT or who is fullytrained in manual lymphatic massage therapy is the person. Google stepup-speakout.org for a therapist near you. Our girl made the website and it's fabulous in answering questions or ask here. Knowledge is power.

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Aug 31, 2017 07:50PM Kicks wrote:

Not sure what your timeline is. In '92, you had BMX and had implants but have since had another 4 sets of jmplants? Now you have had the last set removed but no more recon? Was told right away that you had LE in L arm? Then in June in a car accident and now an area of swelling in front of arm pit (so on trunk)?

Nodes do not need to be removed for LE to develope! Any surgery (even minor/non-invasive) can result in developing LE. It can also develope after any traumatic injury. You've had quite a few surgeries in the chest area so - .

You mentioned you had been told you had arm LE and ask about a sleeve but did not mention a glove/gauntlet which is important to be worn with the sleeve for arm LE issues. Arm garments are for arms - not an area on the body. I don't deal with body/truck LE but others do and will have ideas for dealing with it.

An appointment with a Dr to be sure there is nothing going on from the car wreck that needs medical intervention. Then/Also get a referral to a LymphEdema Therapist (who may be a PT or OT but has addition education directed at lymph edema.

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIC, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/24/2009 AC Surgery 10/20/2009 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/10/2009 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/3/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 1, 2017 02:49PM - edited Sep 2, 2017 06:39PM by Alymamaw16

I have seen my Dr. who has known about the Lymphedema for 15 years..i told her about the pain, and she seen the swelling and felt it and said there was significant swelling.

She's the one that stated it was probably from the car wreck.

I did not have reconstruction because I had 5 sets of Silicone implants harden and rupture. I was done with surgery.

So I have lived with this for 25 years. I don't feel I should be criticized because I chose not to have reconstruction.

I was just asking about a compression sleeve. My health is not good, and driving is not at the top of the list. Try compression sleeve before going for the massage route.

Thanks for the advice

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Sep 17, 2017 03:37PM Chula4u wrote:

Hi All,

I am new to the group. last Oct 2016 I was diagnosed with stage one cancer in my right breast and I had a lumpectomy. They removed one lymph node and I had 15 rounds of radiation.

All the treatments were completed by the third week in Nov 2016. By Jan 2017 I developed Lymphedema in my trunk area (breast area) My right arm is fine no sign of Lymphedema. In May 2017 I came down with an infection in my right breast which I believe was brought on by the lymphedema. My breast got bright red like it was on fire (which is was) I had a low grade fever that brought on the chills. This occurred the Thursday before memorial weekend, so I called the doctor's office and they prescribe Bactrim for 10 days which cleared it up. However I was laid up for 5 of those days and could not touch my breast, because it hurt so much.

Just last week Sept 8 I came down with another infections. Same symptoms as the one in May.However this time I went to the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital for three days. Bottom line they just treated me with antibiotics and sent me home with two antibiotics for 10 days. I am feeling better now and will follow with my doctor.

Has anyone been experiencing the same issues? This is scaring me because it comes on with no warning and them I am out of commission for at least 7 days. I would to hear from anyone that has experience this and any suggestion on how to prevent this.

Thank you.

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Sep 17, 2017 03:57PM Binney4 wrote:

Chula, I'm so sorry for all this trouble you're having, and I hope this will be your last experience with it. Cellulitis (infection) is one of the real problems with lymphedema, and sometimes it can be hard to get on top of it. Some of the women here who have had repeated infections have found Infectious Disease doctors (specialists in dealing with infections) who have experience with lymphedema. They can be put on a very low dose antibiotic for a year or longer, which helps to clear up any lingering infection and to prevent new infections. You might want to ask for a referral to an Infectious Disease doctor, but do ask them up front how much experience they've had with lymphedema-related cellulitis.

Please keep us posted and let us know how you're doing. Hopefully other women will be along to share their experiences, as there are several here who have had to deal with repeated infections.

Gentle hugs,
Binney

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Sep 17, 2017 04:37PM Freya wrote:

I was one of the women who was on daily antibiotics for a couple of years. Prior to that I constantly had bouts of cellulitis, I always kept a supply of Keflex on hand so I could start it straight away. Things have improved a lot and I have not had an infection in quite a while (touch wood). Speak to your doctor and hopefully they will be proactive in helping you.

Dx 2009, ILC/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, Grade 3, 14/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 19, 2017 02:35PM hugz4u wrote:

Yes you need to gain control of cellulitis beast.

Just finished a few days ago keflex that I had waiting for an emergency. So glad I had it to start while waiting for doc. Take your antibiotics with you wherever you travel. It may have been a lifesaver for me. I know it certainly helped my finger wound from getting an nasty infection. Also I learned how to wrap for situations like this and it proved valuable. Steep learning curve but a must for your LE kit

We are happy to help you. Stick around and educate yourself. It's your best defense.

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Sep 20, 2017 11:12AM Chula4u wrote:

Thank you so much Binney, for your quick response. I will definitely look into the infectious disease doctor and give this a try. I am already doing everything I can to mitigate this cellulitis but its not enough.

Grateful,

Chula

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Sep 20, 2017 11:13AM Chula4u wrote:

Thank you Freya. I think this will be my next step.

Grateful,

Chula

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Sep 20, 2017 11:16AM Chula4u wrote:

Hugs4u,

Thank you for your response. Do you know where I can get a good bra that can help with support and comfort?

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Sep 20, 2017 03:48PM Binney4 wrote:

Chula, here's a link to information about truncal (breast/chest) lymphedema. At the bottom of the page are links to suggestions for several kinds of support options: bras, camis, binders, and "swell spots" to help with specific problem areas:

http://www.stepup-speakout.org/breast_chest_trunck...

Lots of options, so it's kind of trial-and-error to find what's best for you.

Hugs,
Binney

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Sep 21, 2017 01:46PM Chula4u wrote:

Thank you Binney.

Hugs,

Maribel

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Sep 27, 2017 11:54AM - edited Sep 27, 2017 11:54AM by Chula4u

Hi Freya

What antibiotic where you on for a couple of years? Did you have any side effects?

Thank you,

Chula

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21 hours ago gardengypsy wrote:

That's a good link, Binney.

I THINK I feel armpit swelling. I guess it's back to my LE exercises.

Wow. Taking care of myself is a full time job.

Dx 10/29/2015, ILC/IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/3/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 1/9/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/23/2016 Hormonal Therapy 5/28/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 6/6/2016 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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21 hours ago hugz4u wrote:

garden. Yes it is a full time job but I find that easier than running into a real bad le flare. Now that's really time consuming. So much easier to be proactive.

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