Hand swelling after mastectomy


I had my lymph nodes removed from my left side in July 2006. From the last couple of weeks, I was looking at my hands and noticed that my left hand looks puffier than the right. It doesn’t hurt, just feels a little tight, but the fingers are definitely slightly bigger. Also, I tried my watch on that wrist and it is tighter even though there is no noticeable swelling in the wrist.

Do you think I should be concerned? Is there a need to do a full scan?


Hi Rosy,
Just browsing and saw your thread. From what I have read on this sight, it might possibly be lymphoedema, but course I’m no expert.
Its probably a good idea to have a word with your bc nurse for her advice. I also had lymph nodes removed Aug 2006. I still do my arm
exercises everyday. Its a bind but I think its worth it.
Best wishes,

Hi Ros,

I have lymphoedema in my hand. The back of my hand swells, the fingers did too at first, tho’ they don’t any more. You may need to be referred to a lymphoedema clinic - go to your GP for that.

My lymphoedema is mild, I have a compression glove (not the most elegant thing in the world!) that I wear if I’m doing anything that I know would otherwise set it off - for me that means wearing it when I work in the kitchen, and for gardening. Other than that, although I can tell there is swelling there, no-one else would notice.

Hi Ros

Sounds like the beginning of lymphoedema to me as well - mine started like yours in my hand. So a visit to your GP (or ring your BC nurse) sounds in order. Mine initally was much worse than it is now - had to do special exercises and wear a sleeve and glove most of the time. Now (5 years later) it is well controlled and I only wear the hosiery for certain activities that set it off or if I can tell it is swelling up more than usual.

All the best Kay

Thank you all for your comments.