Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
swollen armpit after lumpectomy and lymph node removal
avatar
An_253459 posted:
Has anyone encountered a problem with a swollen armpit after a lumpectomy. 8 days ago I had a lumpectomy and 17 lymph nodes were removed. I have a great deal of pain in the arm where the lymph nodes were removed, and during the day, i get a swollen bulge under my armpit that bulges out - it is about the size of a large egg. When I get these bulges, I lay down and ice it and it seems to decrease in size a bit. Does anyone have suggestions on what I can do to avoid getting the swelling? I am getting discouraged, and sure would appreciate some input/advice. thanks!
proudly wearing pink,
Sue
Reply
 
avatar
pgnimkoff responded:
Please consult with your doctor, after lympgh node removal the possibility for lymphedemia is great. My arm -- beginning from my wrist began to swell and had to get a prescription for an arm sleeve and specialized massage to get rid of the fluid. This has to be attended to immediately!! Swelling under the arm after the operation is normal, but get information with your local American Cancer Society regarding this and then see your physician. The sleeve must be worn when you fly, and sometimes all the time. Once the arm begins to swell without such sleeve and massage, it can become chronic!
 
avatar
jenna291 replied to pgnimkoff's response:
HI Sue,
I agree that swelling under the arm is normal for quite some time, especially as you try to use it more and more. But bulges seem extreme.
I hope you have seen your doctor by now.
Hope to hear how you are doing.

jenna
 
avatar
pgnimkoff responded:
You MUST ask your doctor or health plan to locate a specialist in Lymphnode massage after breast cancer. It cannot be done by you unless you have been given special training. It ought to cost relatively nothing w/a prescription. Also, get fitted right-a-way for a special sleeve to wear -- almost all the time if you are getting such swelling.

You MUST look for information on-line or in the library for lymphodemia. After removal (I also had 17 removed) the glands usually cannot empty the toxic fluid that is accumulating and what causes the swelling. Warning: if you do not attend to this now sometimes the swelling won't go away easily and in some cases an arm can swell to 2 to 3 times its size.

PLEASE inform yourself and get medical help. Don't ignore!!
I don't mean to scare you, but this is a danger for all of us who have been through this. It can manifest early or sometimes not for years. Educating yourself is the most important thing you can do right now.

Phyl


Helpful Tips

What Is The Pink Bus???
One of our great resources is our famous PINK BUS! Some of you are familiar with her. Others may need a little introduction so I went back ... More
Was this Helpful?
59 of 74 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems to the
Food and Drug Administration

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Breast Cancer Center