Lymph node clearance on both sides?

Hi everyone. Just thinking ahead really but has anyone had axillary clearance on both sides? Originally DX in 2005 1 node positive, WLE and chemo followed by mastectomy with immediate recon. Most recent mammo shows microcalcification in other breast and I am due for another biopsy. Presumably WLE or a mast is the next step if positive and I was wondering if I would need another clearance on the other side. I already have lymphodoema so don’t really want another dose!! Do I have any alternatives?

Regards W

Hi Wendy

I don’t know if there are any alternatives yet - I wish there were! I’ve had axillary clearances on both sides (and I don’t think I’m the only one, by any means). Unfortunately, I’ve got lymphoedema in both arms, so I really sympathise with your anxiety.

There is a technique, very new, which I think has been devised in the States. It’s called ‘axillary reverse mapping’ and it seems to boil down to being a way in which the nodes which drain the arm can be distinguuished from those that drain the breast, so that the former can be spared I’m not sure how far advanced it is and I don’t think it’s available in the UK yet, more’s the pity.

(There is a link to this posted on - it’s in the general discussion section)

All the best