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question about swelling


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This may sound like an unusual question but does anyone here suffer any type of lymphadema (sp?) I know this is more common in breast cancer but I'm wondering if anyone here has suffered any form of it. I've had 3 chest surgeries and each time they removed many, many lymph nodes from my chest and under my arm. They just kept testing everything. I also had 12 weeks of radiation to my chest and I keep having the feeling that the left breast, arm pit, arm swells sometimes. Especially lately with the humid weather we've been having in Pennsylvania. Am I crazy? My family dctor says she doesn't notice any visual difference and she has check the breast and armpit for lumps but there's nothing. But I'm still wondering if there could be swelling. Does anyone else here notice this?

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I don't know that I can offer up any answers, but after my surgery (At University of Pennsylvania) a family friend sent me a brochure on Lymphodema with a note telling me to be aware of the condition -- I had never heard of it and was very freaked out! (As if I needed anything else to be freaked out about!!!!!) I questioned my surgeon about it during a follow up visit and he looked at me like I was crazy :oops: and said that the nodes he took out (about 12 in the mediastinum area) would not cause that condition in any way, shape or form. Of course, I don't know what type of nodes they removed during your surgery, but perhaps you should question your surgeon? If you are feeling nervous about it, I would get answers, rather than worry yourself silly!

Take care,


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It was Larry Kaiser. Not much with the bedside manner, but came highly recommended as a top thorasic surgeon!

Here's a funny little sidenote -- my surgery was done on 2/17/03 -- the day of that MAJOR blizzard we had here in the East. I had to be at HUP at 5:45 A.M. on Monday morning.....after getting dumped with about 30 inches of snow all day Sunday into Monday. We had to leave my house at 4:00 a.m. and shovel our way to the car through 3 foot drifts. It took almost 2 hours to make the usual 30 minute drive, but there was NO WAY I wasn't getting this surgery done as scheduled. And you know what? Many surgeries were cancelled that day because doctors didn't make it in....but Dr. Kaiser drove right in with his SUV and surgery started right on time!! He may not be a man of many words, but his skill and dedication are top notch in my book!

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Hello Tami

If you read some of my post about my husband's (Rob) surgery you will see he has some lymphatic issues going on. He had a lobectomy on June 26, 2003 as of today Aug 12, he is still hospitalized. They have never said lymphedema was the problem but they have said his lymphatic system has been anatomically altered, from the surgeries and previous radiation. He had several lymph nodes removed in April 2003 for examination (they were benign), but 6 days later he ended up in the hospital with congestive heart failure, because his body had swelled up with fluid. They had to drain fluid off one of his lung after the lymph nodes were taken.

He had the left lobectomy in Jun and he would not draining!!! One chest tube came out around 2 and 1/2 weeks after the surgery and the second didn't come out until Aug 3, 2003 and that happen by accident :!: . They were still concerned about the fluid building back up but didn't reinsert it, because of another condition he developed. He has had 2 thorancentisis since the Jun 26, surgery because the rightr lung kept filling up with fluid. He then developed a bacterial condition from the chest tube being in so long, it is called Empyima. They have had him on all kinds of direutics and he developed kidney failure from the direutics, it has been one setback after another.

Now they say he will always have a problem with fluid retention. No they haven't called it lymphedema technically, but it sure looks like it to me. Everytime they removed some lymph nodes his body reacts with by not knowing how to absorb the fluids it produces. Now with extra tissue missing from the lung surgery, there is less tissue to absorp the fluid, so the fluid builds up in his lungs, his feet, legs and ankles..

It sounds like you might have some fluid retention also, let the doctors know..

Be blessed and believe you will be the victor over this disease...


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Yep, I'm having "armpit" issues. I notice swelling under my right arm (the side of the lobectomy) and feel diffuse, spritzy pain under there that GRADUALLY gets worse. The onc has felt around, the PCP has felt around, they have ordered 2 different CTs and one MRI. Nothing shows up (thank goodness), but I know that things are not the same under there as they used to be. I dunno what's up, but I don't like it...worries the daylights out of me.

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