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Doctor insights on: Can Lymphedema Spread From My Arms To Other Parts Of My Body

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Can lymphedema spread from my arms to other parts of my body?

Can lymphedema spread from my arms to other parts of my body?

Yes.: Upper extremity lymphedema most commonly occurs following the treatment of breast cancer, which involves lymph node removal +/- radiation. The entire lymphatic system is interconnected and swelling can occur anywhere in the body regardless of which lymphatic region was affected. Though not curable, this does respond to physical therapy. ...Read more

Dr. Ted King
421 Doctors shared insights

Lymphedema (Definition)

The lymph channels work to return fluid from the lower extremities back towards the heart, and filter out bacteria. If the lymph channels and not functioning appropriately swelling of the affected limb is most common presentation. The swelling usually occurs during daily activities and improves with leg elevation. In order to prevent swellingUse a compression ...Read more


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Diagnosed with shingles 5 days ago; have lymphedema on 1 arm from removal of 30 breast cancer involved lymph nodes - what if shingles spreads to arm?

Diagnosed with shingles 5 days ago; have lymphedema on 1 arm from removal of 30 breast cancer involved lymph nodes - what if shingles spreads to arm?

Secondary infection: Good news is that shingles always follows set patterns. The outbreaks follow the course of a sensory nerve. So, if the outbreak isn't now near the arm, it is very unlikely that it will go there. You can search online for shingles dermatomes to see the patterns. If it does make it to your arm, secondary infection is your biggest concern. Be careful the blisters do not pop and become infected. ...Read more

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Do you think arms sleeves for lymphedema are effective?

Many, Many options: Lymphedema occurs whith compromise of the lymphatic circulation. Lymphatics carry things too thick to be safely carried in arteries and veins like bacteria eaten by white cells and digested food. It is propelled along by normal body movements blockage causes it to back up causing soft tissues/skin deformity. Sleeves are one part of many options including wraps, pumps, and massage. ...Read more

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I have mild-moderate lymphedema in my arms. What is the best way to get rid of it?

Options: Most lymphedema can be improved with physical therapy/compression. There is a new technique of lymph node transfer that can dramatically improve certain cases. It is microsurgical transfer of nodes to a draining basin to improve symptoms and hopefully grow more channels.
Call 321-841-7090 as the institute of microsurgery at orlando health now offers this! ...Read more

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What treatment for lymphedema that will not cost an arm?

What treatment for lymphedema that will not cost an arm?

Should be covered..: Compression and lymphatic massage are the mainstays of therapy for lymphedema.
As lymphedema is a diagnosis of exclusion, make sure you see a vascular specialist and that other causes of swelling have been ruled out. Your therapy should be covered if a specialist makes the diagnosis of lymphedema. ...Read more

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Could I have info about prevention of lymphedema in my arm?

Could I have info about prevention of lymphedema in my arm?

Not really possible: Lymphedema occurs when there is a compromise of the lymphatic circulation. This third circulation (arteries, veins) carries things too thick to be safely carried in arteries and veins like bacteria eaten by white cells and digested food. It is propelled along by normal body movements but contains a thick material called lymph. Blockage causes it to back up causing soft tissues/skin deformity. ...Read more

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I have had slight swelling in my left arm due to lymphedema. What can I do?

Lymphedema therapy: Manual lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy are the cornerstones of proper lymphedema care. You should seek the opinion of a vascular specialist that has a special interest in lymphedema management. You can learn a lot of the techniques and can begin self management at home once you have been properly treated. ...Read more

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I am trying to find where to go for therapy to treat lymphedema of the arm. What should I consider?

MLD: You need to find a lymphedema center that provides manual lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy. This is a specialized program that is the bet treatment for patients with lymphedema. ...Read more

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Can a person massage the lymphedema out of his arm?

Yes: The best treatment for this is manual lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy. This is essentially a massage technique that stimulates the lymphatics and encourages the fluid to move towards the central venous system. Combined with compression this massage then controls the swelling. Please see a physician with special interest in lymph edema and seek this treatment. ...Read more

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What are the recommended exercises for lymphedema of the arm?

Occupational therapy: An occupational therapist can customize a program for you. Compressing a hard rubber ball to work the forearm muscles, biceps and triceps exercises with weights can help move fluid from the upper arm ...Read more

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Can a new tumor on my arm cause lymphedema?

Yes: Depending on where the tumor grows and which tissues it involves, it certainly can cause lymphedema of the arm. In particular, if the tumor involves the lymph nodes in the arm pit (axilla), this could Prohibit lymphatic drainage from the arm and cause lymphedema. ...Read more

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Could shooting heroin in the arm cause arm lymphedema?

Potentially: Lymphedema can result from any type of disruption of lymphatic channels: surgery, trauma, and infection are common causes. If the heroin was injected into tissues rather than into the vein, it can incite an inflammatory reaction which alters lymphatic flow. ...Read more

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Can radiation cause arm lymphedema from non-hodgkin's lymphoma?

Can radiation cause arm lymphedema from non-hodgkin's lymphoma?

Yes, although: The non-hodgkins lymphoma can cause lyphedema itself, even without radiation. ...Read more

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I was fitted for a lymphedema sleeve and gauntlet. Is the sleeve supposed to cut off the circulation in my arm and hand?

I was fitted for a lymphedema sleeve and gauntlet. Is the sleeve supposed to cut off the circulation in my arm and hand?

No: The sleeve should be tight but should not cut off your circulation. You may need to start with a larger sleeve and move to a smaller one as your lymphedema improves. Talk to your physical therapist as soon as possible. ...Read more

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How can I avoid putting pressure on my arm and prevent breast lymphedema?

General care: Lymphedema of the arm is seen following breast procedures (axillary dissection, radiation), and avoiding putting pressure on the arm doesn't prevent the swelling. Avoid scratches, injury of the arm that can result in infection and further damage of the lymphatics. Seek help of a lymphedema trained physical therapist for specific advice. ...Read more

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Can I safely have surgery on my trigger finger when I have lymphedema in my arm/hand?

Can I safely have surgery on my trigger finger when I have lymphedema in my arm/hand?

Wait till edema: Subsides, trigger finger surgery is simple out patient surgery, edema will delay the wound healing. ...Read more

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Have lymphedema in right arm and hand. Also trigger finger on that side. Will surgery for the trigger finger make the lymphedema worse?

Have lymphedema in right arm and hand. Also trigger finger on that side. Will surgery for the trigger finger make the lymphedema worse?

No: No, surgery for trigger finger should not make the lymphedema worse. The cause of a trigger finger has nothing to do with the lack of draining of the lymph nodes which causes the lymphedema. ...Read more

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Are there restrictions of use for secondary arm lymphadema? My arm is 5 cms larger after mastectomy?

Are there restrictions of use for secondary arm lymphadema? My arm is 5 cms larger after mastectomy?

Yes: In general, I would recommend not allowing blood draws and blood pressure readings from that arm. Furthermore, if you should need a skin surgery on that arm (eg. Skin cancer), I would discuss using prophylactic antibiotics with our cancer surgeon and dermatologist.

You may want to have a massage therapist trained in lymphedema help you too. ...Read more

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I have severe osteoporosis -3.7, degenerative disc disease mainly cervical, and lymphadema in arm, what exercises are safe to do?

I have severe osteoporosis -3.7, degenerative disc disease mainly cervical, and lymphadema in arm, what exercises are safe to do?

See physiatrist: A physiatrist, or doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, can make specific recommendations for you, taking into account both your other conditions and your goals. Upper extremity exercise used to be thought to be bad for those with lymphedema, but research has shown that it doesn't make it worse- and may help it! Your physiatrist will likely have you work with pt to develop a program. ...Read more

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I have lymphodema in my left upper arm. Friday, it began swelling and getting very red in blotches along with a fever of 101.9 last night.

Get Checked: Even a small infection can be very serious in such an arm. The appearance described and the fever could be an infection. Please call your doctor or go to see someone right away. If caught early, it is usually treatable with antibiotics alone. ...Read more

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I saw a neurologist, he did electric shock in my lymphadema arm, and wanted to put needles in to check neck for ddd I stopped him, was I right to do so?

I saw a neurologist, he did electric shock in my lymphadema arm, and wanted to put needles in to check neck for ddd I stopped him, was I right to do so?

Depends?: The "shocks" will allow on to determine if there is any damage of nerve in the arm. The needle assess nerve activity to the muscles. If all of the muscles in a myotome are abnormal, that is, they all share a common nerve root, then we know that nerve root is dysfunction and there may be a problem at the level of the neck (radiculopathy). ...Read more

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Do all patients get lymphedema from having lymphnodes removed when cancer spreads?

Do all patients get lymphedema from having lymphnodes removed when cancer spreads?

20-25%: Not everybody who underwent procedure to remove lymph node would have lymphedema. The incidence of lymphedema is around 20-25%. However, the incidence would be higher when more lymph nodes were removed and when the patient also received radiation therapy to the affected area. ...Read more

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Can you let me know how many patients get lymphedema from having lymphnodes removed when cancer spread?

Can you let me know how many patients get lymphedema from having lymphnodes removed when cancer spread?

Less-and-Less Now: Lymphedema secondary to breast cancer surgery is more related to the number of lymph nodes removed +/- radiation to the armpit rather than the presence or absence of cancer within the nodes. When a traditional axillary dissection is performed, the risk is app. 25%. This rate is <5% if only a few nodes are removed, as we often do with sentinel lymph node biopsy. ...Read more

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I have read that liposuction is being tried (very cautiously, by vascular surgeons) in europe for lymphedema in certain areas of the body. Comments?

Controversial: Yes I have heard about similar isolated reports but it is contradictory to previous recommendations to avoid needle sticks or any invasive procedures because of the increased concern of infections and problems healing. So at this stage it remains controversial. ...Read more

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I have a lymphedema in my left leg for so long and now I had a very seviour pain in back side of my left knee its spreads in all leg I cant walk?

Exam needed: Because of the possibility of a blood clot causing the pain, it is important that you be examined and have an ultrasound performed. Uncomplicated lymphedema shouldn't cause pain or tenderness. Other possibilities include a muscle injury or ruptured Baker's cyst. ...Read more

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How does lymphedema usually begin?

Swelling: Typically after an injury (and surgery can be considered an injury) the lymphatics can become damaged and the limb can swell. ...Read more

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Could you tell me anything about lymphedema?

Could you tell me anything about lymphedema?

Lymphedema: Lymphedema is a chronic medical condition that requires daily care and attention. This is no different than a multitude of other medical problems like high blood pressure and diabetes. There are specialists in lymphedema that you should seek out. For example, many physical therapists specialize in the treatment (control) of lymphedema. Treatments include compression wraps. ...Read more