Lympoedema and breast infection

Lympoedema and breast infection

Lympoedema and breast infection A new user has started a topic, which is currently being reviewed before setting live.

Lympoedema and breast infection After having a mastectomy and lymph node removal I have been prone to infections in my right arm due to lymphoedema. My GP gave me antibiotics to keep in the house so I can start a course of treatment quickly.
My question is, do others suffer from infections in their reconstructed breast? It is the first time I have had symptons the same as when I get an arm infection but it is in my breast. As it is the bank holiday weekend I’ve started a course of antibiotics and will go and see my GP when I am able to get an appointment. My original implant was great (Becker) but after it leaked I had to have a new one (March 2006). It is a different kind, sort of a semi solid silicone that cannot leak.
Any thoughts would be appreciated as I’m feeling a bit low at the moment.

For jennajazz Hi,

Welcome to the forums.

I have copied your post and added it to the undergoing treatment for breast cancer link as you may get more replies from this area.

Best wishes,
BCC Host

Hi Margs,
sorry to hear about the infections. How many lymph nodes did you have removed? I haven’t heard of any problems with infections in a reconstructed breast before, other than post surgical infection.

Might be worth talking to your breast care nurse or surgeon, if you haven’t already, to alert them of the problem and see whether they have any advice for reducing risk of future infection to both arm and breast.

I suppose it’s possible that it might be a post surgical complication from March, but we’re in June now so it seems unlikely unless it’s been quietly lurking for over two months, but worth checking with your breast team.

I hope the antibiotics are working and you get some help to reduce recurrences of infection

jennajazz I have lymphoedema and have been having recurrent cellulitis. I take Pencillin on a daily basis to stop the infection recurring. I have seen Prof Mortimer who has an interest in lymphoedema. He suggests using Clarithrymicin when infection occurs. This recommendation is one of the guidelines issued for patients with lymphoedema. Maybe if you could check with your GP to ensure you are being prescribed the correct antibiotic treatment. Initially I was given the wrong antibiotics to treat the lymphoedema by my GP. So that was the reason I booked a consultation with Prof Mortimer.


Lymphoedema Treatment Hi
I too went to see Prof Mortimer. He put me on clarythromicin and wrote a letter to my GP asking him to put me on it when I had problems. I also went to the lymphoedema clinic at the Marsden regularly for a couple of years and wore a compression sleeve and glove. I was given lots of advice on how to avoid infections by the nurses and physios e.g. always wear gloves in the garden. I was also told not to wear anything constrictive on my affected arm or hand. So I now wear my watch on my right hand and only wear rings on special occasions. I am obsessive about taking care of my arm and hand. I always use oven gloves, don’t carry heavy bags using my affected arm, try to make sure I don’t get ‘rag’ nails, when I take things out of the freezer, I always use my right hand. I’m glad to say that this all happened about 8 years ago now and now I seem to have everything under control and I no longer wear the sleeve. My left arm is still slightly swollen compared to my right, but other people don’t notice unless I point it out. I don’t know if time has healed the problem or whether its because I am so careful or a combination of both. At least I was treated quickly and was able to find a consultant who was interested in my problem. In my view, part of the problem is that many GP’s and Practice Nurses do not have the knowledge to give specialist advice. I can understand why you feel low, I remember being really depressed. In some ways it was worse than the cancer because everybody could see I had a swollen arm and I felt so self concious. I know that many BC units now have lymphoedema clinics and nurses and physios who specialise in the condition. It might be worth finding your nearest one.
Hope all goes well for you

Hi there Yes, I think my lymhpoedema began when I got an infection around my implant, my breast has gone pretty hard now, seems to have formed a fibrotic shell around it. I have had more than one infection which seemed to travel from breast to arm.once it began on my back scar, somehow. I have only had cellulitis once, thank god, that was from a bitten nail bed -I would wholeheartedly agree with all the advice others have given about hand care and creaming the arm .I too have had regular MLD by a qualified therapist, and can perform my own bandaging if I need to, but dont very often.there are things we can do to help ourselves and they make me feel more in control.

Hope this helps,

reconstructions I have read that implant reconstructions are more prone to infection than ones which involve body tissue transfers e.g. LD flaps and DIEPS etc. I would not want an implant as I had infections after each breast surgery