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Lymphedema and needles/blood pressure on the affected arm

Lesley777Lesley777 Member Posts: 10
edited December 2018 in General discussion
I had 17 lymph nodes removed after my BC.  I have had some lymphedema in the breast area but manage it okay when it happens.  My question is, I need a shoulder reconstruction on the other (good) arm.  This means they will have to use the left arm for blood pressure monitoring and administering drugs.  I will discuss it with the anaesthetist and surgeon when I see them prior to surgery but has anyone else had something similar and how did you go post surgery?  


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,279
    I had 17 lymph nodes removed too, and I have lymphoedema in my left arm. In general, it is best not to use an affected arm for injections, blood tests or blood pressure, to limit exposure to infection but it can be done. If your lymphoedema is mild or occasional, it may be quite possible without much risk. For your own peace of mind, you might consult a good lymphoedema therapist, who can probably advise on what to do before and after to minimise any adverse outcomes. Best wishes.
  • Lesley777Lesley777 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks Afraser, good advice.  My appointment with the surgeon isn’t until January so I can probably arrange to see someone prior.  👍
  • SoldierCrabSoldierCrab Bathurst NSW Member Posts: 3,309
    They use my legs for BP , and I have had bloods from foot & legs.

  • Lesley777Lesley777 Member Posts: 10
    Interesting SoldierCrab, they can work around it then.  That is good to know and reassuring.  
  • FlaneuseFlaneuse BrisbaneMember Posts: 884
    @Lesley777 I asked the chemo nurses about this because I was curious about how people who'd had surgery both sides would cope, and she said they used legs and feet.
  • Lesley777Lesley777 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks Flaneuse.  
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