Topic: LYMPHA (Lymphovenous Bypass) Procedure With Mastectomy?

Forum: Lymphedema — Talk with other about how to lower your risk of lymphedema and how to manage it if you've been diagnosed.

Posted on: May 12, 2021 05:41PM - edited Nov 21, 2021 07:55PM by lw422

Posted on: May 12, 2021 05:41PM - edited Nov 21, 2021 07:55PM by lw422

lw422 wrote:

Hello all. Today I had a meeting with my surgical oncologist to discuss my upcoming single mastectomy. I was kind of bummed to hear that that many nodes will be removed, and mentioned that I have a fear of lymphedema.

The SO said that a plastic surgeon will be called in to do the mastectomy close, and he also does a microsurgical procedure called a "LYMPHA." (Lymphatic Microsurgical Preventive Healing Approach). The procedure is also known as a lymphovenous bypass which attaches the cut lymphatic channels to tiny veins, allowing the lymphatic fluid to drain. She said this procedure will add about 3 hours to my surgery.

I told her that I am very interested in this procedure, particularly since it is done at the same time as the mastectomy and apparently is successful in reducing the chance of developing lymphedema. Has anyone here had this procedure in conjunction with their mastectomy, and how have you fared with this? Would you do it again? Any complications? Thanks for sharing. Log in to post a reply

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Sep 22, 2022 06:53PM lw422 wrote:

MavericksMom--I totally understand your annoyance... I imagine that most people on this forum have had those feelings so we totally "get it." Dealing with treatment, side effects, fear, and never-ending appointments while wondering if we are going to survive is then topped off by worry about insurance and financial worries. To think that this is your THIRD go-round with the horror is just awful.

As far as lymphedema treatment, I pretty much agree with you. It's just another shit sandwich on the hors d'oeuvres platter of cancer. I am compression sensitive and have not been able to wear any of the standard "garments." (Why do I hate that word??) I was disappointed in the half-assed PT I have received where half my treatment time is taken up by a bunch of TALK and measuring... leaving hardly any time for actual treatment or teaching me how to help myself. But I get to pay those co-pays for that waste of time.

So far my swelling isn't significant and most people would never notice unless I point it out to them, but I understand that LE is progressive and has to be "managed." Well damn it, I don't want to "manage" it. I'm still pissed that they took 32 nodes from my right axilla and not one of them had cancer. Great! They were all happy about that, never mind that I will be paying the price for that for the rest of my life. Thanks, Doc!

I'm probably going to be the non-compliant queen of LE. I don't want to wear those stupid sleeves; they are expensive and uncomfortable and I don't want to. I've been doing the MLD and elevating my arm, but I don't want to spend my entire waking hours "managing" this stupid swelling. So girl, feel free to express your annoyance, because we all get it. I'm so sorry you have to go through this again.

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Sep 22, 2022 07:10PM mavericksmom wrote:

Iw422, we are soooo much alike! They took 24 out of me in 2003, same thing, none had cancer! Don't you just love their enthusiasm when they tell you all the nodes they took out were negative. Then they look they give you when you aren't as thrilled as they are? Those doctors wouldn't last a week with a wrapped arm! After mine were removed, hey still told me I needed chemo, radiation etc. At least now they have Oncotype testing so not everyone goes through chemo. I got the dreaded "red punch cocktail."

I call surgery, chemo and radiation being mutilated, poisoned and burned.........and I did get burned with jelly bean size blisters! I would NEVER consent to radiation again. That said, my two sisters had radiation after their lumpectomies and didn't have an issue other than redness for a few months. It is just how my body reacts, so yep, I am less than happy about going through all this a third time!

BTW, I LOVE your description of lymphedema therapy! PERFECT description!!!! I ABSOLUTELY agree!!!!! I went through endless hours of therapy, with about 5 different therapists and it all ended up being a complete waste of time, and definitely a waste of co-pays!

BTW, so glad you connected with me, you have no idea how much you helped me cope! Thank you!!!!!!

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 22, 2022 08:07PM lw422 wrote:

Aw, I'm glad we connected, too, MM. It is good that we all have a place where we can come to express our feelings and not be judged. I wish the old "GRRRRRR... I Hate LE" thread was still active. So much good information there that I have read it a couple of times and I feel like I know the ladies who posted there.

I wish there were more and better treatments for LE. The bypasses and node transplant surgeries seemed to hold a lot of promise but so far I haven't heard of any miracles for us. I figure if Kathy Bates is still wearing compression that there must not be much hope for the likes of me!!

Take care.

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Sep 22, 2022 10:21PM minustwo wrote:

lw - shall we try to re-activate the GRRR thread? I'm up for posting every day to keep it at the top of the 'chain' until enough new people see & join. Of maybe even some oldies would return (the ones who are still fighting their way through the BCO nightmare).

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Sep 22, 2022 10:48PM lw422 wrote:

Sounds good, -2! See ya over on GRRRRRR...

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