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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: Armpit puffiness

Topic: Armpit puffiness

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: May 2, 2008 11:52AM

mthomp2020 wrote:

I had a modified radical on my right side last August.  I've kept a close watch on my arm since then.  I know you can expect a certain amount of puffiness under the armpit for some time after having AND.  I do still get some, especially after wearing a bra all day.  My arm hasn't had any swelling.  I've periodically measured it, and there's no difference between the 2 arms.  I'll be seeing my surgeon next Wednesday, so I do intend to ask about it.  I know you can get lymphadema in the trunk without it being in the arm.

Just wonder how long most people have this puffiness after their surgery.  Since I'll be flying later this summer, just want to head off any problems

Marsha Dx 5/21/2007, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 2, 2008 12:11PM otter wrote:


I had my mast/SNB just this past February.  I still have puffiness in my armpit, and I had my surgeon look at it several times.  She even used US to see if there were pockets of fluid in there.  The conclusion was that it was "just me."  She grinned, because what she meant was that I have a little more fat under my arm than a trim person might have.  Because of the location and shape of the mast/SNB incision, there is a little poof of fat that sticks out over the incision.  She said that could be fixed by PS if necessary.

She also referred me to a therapist who's certified in LE therapy.  That was a great experience--2 hours of careful examination, manual lymphatic drainage, and education on preventing, detecting, and treating LE.  The bottom line was that I do not have LE.  The poofiness is, as my surgeon said, "just me."  It's a bit of fat sagging down from the fat pad most of us have in our armpit.  Nothing more.

I hope yours is that simple. BTW, the LE therapist said it would be a good idea if I would invest in a compression sleeve and glove even though I don't have LE.  Any time I'm doing anything that could cause swelling (including airplane flights, as well as repeated exercise with my left arm), I should wear the sleeve and glove.  That's one way to head off problems.

I should note that I had only 3 nodes removed; none contained cancer; and I did not have rads.  Nonetheless, I have a life-long risk of LE (albeit small), and I want to do everything I can to prevent it from occurring.


Dx 2008, IDC, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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