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Topic: Question about lymphedema in legs

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

Posted on: Aug 20, 2018 12:28PM

wrenn wrote:

I hope this isn’t a stupid question. I am having a test to show blood flow in legs and it requires comparing blood pressure in arm with BP in ankles. I am ok doing it on the right side but worry about allowing it on the left leg.

I had ALND on left side 5 years ago and have had no lymphedema but can’t sleep on left side without getting severe pain in upper arm. It may be unrelated to lymphedema but I wonder if anyone knows whether it is ok to do a blood pressure reading on left ankle? I anticipate an argument from those carrying out the test when I show up. Any tips appreciated

Metaplastic IDC Triple negative...Tumour is 1.5cm. BMX Aug. 16th. Chemo cancelled after one dose due to complications. Dx 7/25/2013, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/16/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Aug 20, 2018 01:37PM ksusan wrote:

I'd expect the ankle would be okay. Maybe use a wrist cuff on the left arm?

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Aug 20, 2018 01:44PM hugz4u wrote:

Hi wrenn, no question is silly here. Lymphedema and prevention is a steep learning curve.

If you have never had surgery from aprox waist down where they may have had taken lymph nodes out you will be fine doing ankle cuff reading. Just have them stay away from your node side surgery arm. Don’t believe them if they say you can’t get LE on a node less side from a needle. Lots of people here have.

In the future if both arms are compromised and if no one will do bp on leg I’ve heard fireman are trained to do it.(a trip to the fire station might be easy on the eyes to! )A person needs to know how to do it properly and I have not learned yet to do it well at home. It will read a bit different that a bp in arm. Heart specialist nurses and docs also know how to do it and perhaps emergency dept. Your regular run of the mill assistant to doc will have no clue but may pretend she knows how which could be dangerous if she gave you a false reading.

Isn’t this smoke aweful today? I’ll be exercising indoors. I won’t even walk doggy in this today. His poor little lungs. I was in Vancouver early this morn and the smoke haze is worse than where I live.

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Aug 20, 2018 02:30PM wrenn wrote:

Hi Hugz, The test is called ankle brachial index test. I was thinking that since they can't test my left arm there is no point in testing left ankle since the purpose is to compare them. I am just going to refuse the left arm test and see what they say.

It really is smokey here but I imagine it is much worse in other places. I haven't really felt an effect yet.

I feel for your poor dog. :-(

Metaplastic IDC Triple negative...Tumour is 1.5cm. BMX Aug. 16th. Chemo cancelled after one dose due to complications. Dx 7/25/2013, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/16/2013 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Aug 21, 2018 07:31AM - edited Aug 21, 2018 07:36AM by BrooksideVT

As it happens, I'm having that very same test in a few weeks .  I did ask and learned that the test is valid for both legs with the blood pressure cuff on one arm only, so no worries there.  I suspect that if there is one spot on our legs where the risk of irritating a tendency toward lymphedema is next to nil, it would be the ankle.  

I'm guessing that, like me, you want to find out what the heck is causing your symptoms and maybe fix them?  Or figure out how to keep them from getting worse?  For immediate stress reduction, I suggest a couple of phone calls.  First, please ask your onc about the risks that concern you.  He knows you and your history and can really put your concerns in proper perspective.  Your vascular person (or whomever ordered the blinking test) can also discuss risks and rewards and give you a full explanation of how the test is expected to help and whether there is another option for accurate diagnosis.  Once he or she walks you through the test (yes, I'd insist that s/he do this), I think you'll be a lot happier.

Oh, yes--It will also be a good thing when the ordering doc lets the test techs know they'll be using only one arm.  I was told they do this all the time, but it's always better (i.e. quicker) when they don't have to check with the doc before changing their setup.




Dx 11/21/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 2/21/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/4/2014 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2014 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 9/28/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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