After SNB

Hi, I had SNB a few weeks ago, they found traces of cancer in the 3 nodes taken so am having chemo. I had my first lot of FEC in my unaffected arm, they did try to put the canula in the other arm but couldn’t find a vein. I’m due the 2nd lot next week and am wondering whether the same is true for SNB as for full clearance in that I shouldn’t have injections or anything on the affected side. If anyone can help it would be great.


Hi Mickey,

I had to have a week of platelet transfusions and IV antibiotics after WLE and SNB and my surgeon was most particular about only using my arm on the unaffected side. They were in danger of running out of veins and he told them to go for my feet next! Luckily it wasn’t necessary, but I would say you should be careful and avoid the arm on your affected side just in case.

E xx

michele its preferable to do it in the non affected side as even with a few nodes removed you could still be a risk of lymphoedema although much less so than if you had a full clearance…

often they will just try to use the side you offer… try putting your hand in a basin of warm water or running it under the hot tap for a wee while before they are due to canulate as that might help your veins pop up although the chemo can cause vein damage too.

iv had bc in both sides and always offer up my left side (most recent side) for bloods and injections as im right handed and although LO would be a pain in the ass, it would be less of a pain in the ass in my non dominant side.

As Lulu says ,the affected side should be avoided wherever possible. Its shocking that a chemo unit would attempt to use the affected side,they should know better.
I am in the process of doing a protocol for staff,Doctors and Nurses in the dept where I work to follow as many do not understand the risks.
Also,many patients are ill informed and say “Oh my surgery was 5 years ago its OK now” or “Oh I had an injection before in that arm and it was OK”
Unfortunately the risk is with us for life and it may just take one procedure at any time to set off the lympoedema.
Good luck with your treatment,

ive always had my fec in the non snb/wle arm. Been told all blood tests/blood pressure test will always be on my non surgery arm, now.

Thanks ladies, i’ll make sure that bloods are taken tomorrow from my unaffected arm and that chemo is done in that arm on tuesday.