Lymphoedema risk with bilateral breast cancer?

Hi, I am due to have bilateral lumpectomy and SNB on both sides in a week or two.  Reading some of the posts and also on Google (!) it says that you should avoid lifting heavy bags or repetitive actions on ‘the affected side’ to avoid lymphoedema. 

My question is, is this permanently?  Or can you lift things after a period of time? If I have the sentinel node biopsy on both sides, I’m concerned I’ll not be able to go shopping, hoover or walk the dog!

Any advice anyone?


Hi I understand how you feel as the advice on line can be quite alarming! I had bilateral mastectomies and full node clearance on both sides. General advice was avoid injections and bloods on affected side…difficult when you’ve had both sides done! I checked with my surgeon and he said he’s written a research paper about this and there was  no evidence of an increased risk. Your surgeon/oncologist will let you know if they think you have an increased risk of lymphoedema. You will be able to lift and do housework, just need to work up slowly especially if you’ve had drains in.