Lymph Nodes

Lymph Nodes

Lymph Nodes Hello I am going into hospital this Thursday to have all my left Lymph Nodes removed. Having gone through 8 cycles of chemo therapy then surgery, this procedure scares me the most, with its possible side effects i.e. lymphoedema. Is it as bad as I have read and being told, any personal advice would be appreciated.

Thank you
Danger Mouse

Hi Dangermouse,

I has my lymph nodes removed when I has a WLE, so I am assuming the after effects would be similiar.

You will have a drain fitted during the op, which is removed after about 4/5 days. I expect thye physio will also give you excercises to do, and you must do them, they do help you get your mobility back.

Most of all you must listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.

Take care & best wishes


Hi there

I had my nodes removed, it was at the same time as my recon, it was three months ago and i didnt have any pain, but your not as mobile with the arm but the physio will give you some exercises to do which are dont take long to do every day, follow this and you’ll be swinging your arms in the air in no time. Also during the procedure some of my nerves in my arm were cut which i believe is quite common so there for part of my arm is numb which just feels a bit strange say if your rubbing cream on your arm.
As for lymphoedema, i was worried to but there is a fact sheet on the forum somewhere and i try and stick to what it says, e.g. dont carry to much weight on the affected arm, dont get sunburn on it. And what you have to remember is to try and stick to these for the rest of your life as lymph. can happen years later.
You sometimes forget when your carrying shopping etc but i think if your careful most of the time you wont have a problem.
Hope this all helps and dont worry, sorry stupid thing to say but compared to chemo my surgey was a breeze.

good luck


Lymphodema Fact Sheet Hi Dangermouse

Here is the link to the Lymphodema fact sheet that Twelch talked about

Hope it is of help to you.

Kind regards

BCC Host

Hi Danger Mouse,

I had all my lymph nodes removed (had mastectomy in separate surgery), and can honestly say I didn’t have any pain to speak of. There was some discomfort later, with the numbness etc, but nothing too bad. I did have some seroma (fluid collection) in my underarm which had to be aspirated a few times (again painless cos the area was still numb). I returned home 24 hours after surgery with a drain, which I had in for 10 days…seems I make a lot of serous fluid!

You do get some strange feelings when the nerves start to recover, and an area of your underarm may always have some remaining numbness, I now have full movement in my arm and shoulder.

The surgery does not take long (about 45 minutes) so not too much anaesthetic, and you will soon be up and around.

I am more scared of the chemo (I start 4 x FEC and 4 x Taxotere) tomorrow.


Hi Dangermouse

As you have already had chemo you will probably take a little longer to recover from your surgery but you will get there. It is important to do your exercises as they stop the cut muscle rebuilding too tightly and also get blood flowing to the affected area which helps with healing.

I was terrified of lymphoedema, too. (Saw some pictures on the internet and scared myself witless!) But these are extreme cases which have been left unchecked. Although it is not curable it is treatable and my oncology nurse said that, caught early, it is very manageable.

I think it is one of those things that grips your mind round about the time of your surgery. But you soon forget about it. I had my lymph node dissection in January and rarely think about lymphoedema now.

Good luck with your surgery.


Hi Danger Mouse

Good luck with your op on Thursday. I found my Mastectomy and node removal a lot easier than I thought. The numbness from the nerves being damaged, made doing the exercises actually an awful lot easier! I was back to my normal work/jobs by week 4 and totally discomfort free by 6 weeks post op.

I have to say as I have said before on here, that I realise that Lymphoedema can be a problem for some ladies, but with my active lifestyle and work I would not be able to do any of my normal activities if I followed the guidleines of not lifting! To be honest I was back to mucking out 2 stables and 10 kennels, being dragged around by mad sled dogs & horses, lifting 25kg of horse food, bales of shavings and moving large round bales of hay and carrying shopping bags by the 5th week! Those are jobs that have to be done very day of the year here and as my hubby works away from home during the week, we would have to change our whole life style to fit the guidelines. The whole point of going through this crap time of chemo, surgery etc, etc was that I could get my quality of life back and get on with my life and that’s how I’ve decided to proceeed, if that makes sense! Obviously I’m not silly and should I start to get problems then I may well have to adjust my life, slightly to start with, and see how it goes. I do feel for the ladies that suffer from Lymphoedema and am not belittling the risks, these are just my own personal opinions.

Anyway good luck with your op and try not to think too much about it!

Lynn x

hi dangermouse I had all my lymph nodes removed when I had my masectomy stayed in hospital for 6 days then I was up and about. The only thing I felt was a strange feeling under my arm when I had a shower and was washing there it felt so weird not any pain at all. I am used to it now as the feeling is back as it was numb for quite a while. I do hope its as easy for you as it has been for me. I had mine done in Jan 2007 I am having the chemo now only 2 to go thank god but I have sailed through it compared to some people on this site so I cannot complain. I will be thinking of you hope all goes well for you and you take care Love Linda xxxx

I feel the same as Lynn,I had all my nodes out and radiotheraphy to my underarm3 1/2 yrs ago! I’ve been fetching and carrying eversince! It’s a case of having to and I enjoy the work! I’ve never had any problems with my arm but if it started to ache or swell I’d soon seek advice as I know lymphoedema is no picnic.

I’m clear Hi

I put off having all my lymph nodes removed, just had a sample few. My reason was this fear of lymphodema as I am an artist. I then had to have another op as I had cancerous cells in some nodes. I had a full axillary clearance.

I have not had any signs of lymphodema at all. Take good care of your hands, keep them clean and moisturise regularly. Don’t have bloods or blood pressure taken from that arm, and don’t chew the skin around your nails (one of my habits!). Wear gardening gloves.

This is my regime and so far it seems to have worked.

Good luck.