Surgery to take away lymph nodes and clear margins

Have any of you lovely ladies had surgery to take out lymph nodes and clear margins after chemo but not with masectomy as I have alreafy had a lumpectomy before chemo?
I have just completed chemo treatment and have my op on 22nd January and was wondering if you have any tips to make it as easy and comfortable as possible. TIA.xx


Sorry that you havent had a response yet.  This has probably got lost amongst other posts.  Hopefully this will bump up the post and someone will see it and be able to share their own experiences with you.

Best wishes
Digital Community Officer

Hi CK - I had lymph nodes out with mastectomy, so I’m probably not the right person to help - but I’m happy to answer any questions if I can. One tip is to make sure you do the arm exercises they give you without fail. Once your nodes are removed you will have to take extra care of that arm - to avoid burns/infection etc, but your medical team will tell you all about that. I hope someone else comes along but do ask if I can help. Wishing you well for your op on 22nd.

Evie xx

I had that op last Tuesday but with lumpectomy too. Chemo ended in November. My advice, stay in Hosp until you are ready, don’t go home too soon. The staff were brilliant. It will be much more comfortable after the drain comes out from the underarm. I am doing the exercises as per the advice in Hosp and radiotherapy should start in 4 to 6 weeks. Best Wishes to you.

Hi CK,
First of all I would like to say that, if I have understood your post correctly, if you have had the lumpectomy and chemo, then you are over the worst and have little to worry about. The procedure of removing lymph nodes sounds more complicated than it actually is and the booklets that are provided really confused me!
As I had the lumpectomy at the same time, I don’t want to confuse you, so I would suggest speaking to your Breast Care Nurse if you need clarity about the procedure.
However, in terms of after care, don’t have the dressing taken off before 10 days. Mine was taken off after 7 days and it was too soon, it was still red and swollen and looked as if it would bleed.
Also, be gentle but regular with the exercises you will be given to do. They are important otherwise the underarm and Breast starts getting swollen and hard and really painful.
If you can get hold of some Arnica gel, that is really comforting and helps with the swelling and the pain. The painkillers help but luckily I didn’t have to take as many as were prescribed and after a week was only taking them at night.
I found out from my GP practice that the arm which has had the lymph nodes removed should not be used for blood pressure readings and blood tests etc. This wasn’t in any of the leaflets but I have checked and it is correct.
A month on after the removal , the pain and swelling has completely gone, the scar is still there though no itching and I’m hoping that a cosmetic beauty gel will reduce the scar. Hope that helps.

Hi Pauline,
Firstly I would like to say well done for getting this far and I know exactly how you feel as I have just been through what you have described!
I too am on the ROSCO trial, and the hope is always that we will only need the 4 initial chemo sessions and that will be the end of it. However, we have to bear in mind that there is no guarantee and we are told that at the beginning. Also the whole reason why we are putting ourselves through this gruelling treatment is to save our lives in the long term and prevent ,as much as is possible , the cancer returning.
However, the best approach to take is that you will cross that bridge when you come to it. For now, you need to concentrate on getting your body ready for this important lumpectomy and lymph node removal, and having a good recovery from the surgery. Please see my reply below to CK for some suggestions. I wish you all the best for your surgery and the report outcome.

Hi Pauline,
Me again! Sorry forgot to add that usually with lymph node removal on the ROSCO trial, they remove two lymph nodes and test these. If these prove to be clear of cancer cells, then no more are removed. If cancer cells are detected, then you have to have the procedure again and this time two or more can be removed to be tested.

Hi Pauly
Did she tell you the reason for removing them all??
Hope all goes well from the meeting on the 26th
Delly xxx

I’m presuming or thinking that maybe because of the type you have perhaps.
Good luck for the scan results flower. And if your weathers anything like here, I don’t envy you going out either.

Good Morning Pauly


How are you today darlin ??? Are you doing okay?? If not, shall I send in the “Sympathy Squad”, armed with your favourite alcy beverage? Perhaps a little later, considering it’s 9.24am! Tell me what and we’ll have it ready on ice. Praps a nice humongous cooked brekkie then?  3 x rashers of bacon, 2 x sos, strangled eggs, toms, mushies, and beans? Corr, think I might join you - scootch up. No not that much, I’m only a little bum. Can we have some tea pleeease. Oh, and some brown sauce? Taaaa muchly. Yum num num num!! 

Well umph, thats s’all a bit bu**ery bo**ox innit!!! I would think and feel you may be feeling somewhat deflated, hey? Sorry to ask nitty gritty questions, that you may not want to be bovved to ask. Is the “wire” to do with the ROSCO procedures for positioning of the lymph nodes? If so, I thought all of them were to be removed. Or is that to be discussed at the Friday meet?


Don’t know about you, but I’m now thoroughly stuffed. Mmmm, gonna be a bit of a squeeze fitting in your pocket tomorrow. I’ll just have to take a big deep breath in, just like you’re going to have to do. Will they be contacting you by phone or do you have to go in for the results Pauly?

Am thinking of you. I’m hoping you’re having a really restful day today. You need a bit of a treat, before the apperatives are served later. Stay strong girl.

Loadsa love

Dellywellydingdong xxxxxx 

Hi CK - How did your op go on the 22nd? I’m hoping you’re okay, and ‘it’ all went well, as you haven’t been on here since. I hope you’re managing to keep comfey and managing to sleep with the post op wounds. Did they give you results immediately or are you now having to wait?? Sorry for all the questions lovey xxxxx

Pauly - You’rewelcome. Good breakfast, hey? I’ve got a bit confused with it all. Have you already had the wires installed in the breast area now? It was with you mentioning more needles on Monday at you pre-op. And yeh, of course you’re getting stressed, anyone would. It’s only natural. But I’m sooo glad your out in good company tonight, and for another feed on Tuesday. Great your Sis-in-law’s being extra supportive. I hope you have lots of other support too for Wed.

Lots of love to everyone, Delly xxxxxxxx

No, I don’t do facebook. Enjoy your lunch today.
What you say ref margins makes a lot of sense ref clear ones. I’m glad they’re doing it all on the Wednesday. I had visions of you having to cope with sticky out wires for a few days before. Might have put paid to some husband hugs!! My masts and full ANCs, and treatments then, were from such a long time ago, things have changed dramatically.
If I don’t see you before - Hope everything goes well for Wed and you’re well on the recovery road soon afterwards.

Lots of love to everybody xxxxxxx

So you live in my neck of the woods? Especially my “old” neck, the N M/C area, Middleton, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton??
Awwww, I’m not surprised you’re stressing darlin girl. How was your lunch? Good? I may even know where you went!!

So are you being seen at N M G ?? If so, is Imelda still there, BCN wise? She’s probably of a higher ranking now. I do hope you can get some sleep tonight. If not, just stay up all night and chat to me chummy. I keep the weirdest hours.Noted you were up early hours this morning.

Lotsa love to you xxxxxxx

Oooo, just missed your post, answering another. General Anaesthetic - love it. Gives me the most wonderful sleep ever.

so, I’m not knowing where Caulderdale H A would be under town wise? Why do people feel they have to get a grip - Yeh, Cancer. So no one expects you to get a grip.

I’m laughing, cos you’re goin on about your house survey. What a time!!! Yes, you can do this. The annoying thing is, that we have to do this to someone elses time frame, not our own. My only brother sadly wasn’t part of my BC experience, he was very ill mentally at the time, and sadly took his own life, shortly after my Mums death, so hang onto those you have left, family wise. Umph, not what you want to hear about, night before.

Yeh - Ops are simps. It’s the waiting on results thats the bu**er!!!

Wait to hear from you

Dellywellydingdong xxxxxxx

Nope. Still awake, just for you :smileywink::heart: 

I used to purposely stay awake before an op, why not. I’d I’d enjoy the G A sleep that much more!!! What better time to sell your house?!! I’m so sorry about your brother Pauly.

Yeh, I said, ops are easy, results are the pits!!!

I’ll be thinking of you later this morning.

If I were religious, I’d say god bless. but I’m not, so just trust in the delicate hands of your surgeon, and all else that IS, up there in the Delly universe - You will be okay. Deal with the results later.

Nitey nitey sweetiepie

Dellypoos xxxxxxx 

Awwwww, thanks for letting us know Alan. Just hope everything’s clear. Give her a gentle hug and kiss from Delly will you please. Have one yourself too, but not so gentle for you, 'ey xxxxxx

Hi Delly 

i share your fear of needles and canulas ! Blood tests too

crazy as I have a whole back TATOO ! 


I am due to have surgery next week and also having to have a wire 

have stage 2 -17mm mucoid / collloid cancer which is quite rare 

then Radiotherapy 


i passed out in the CT scan as they couldn’t get the cannula in so even more nervous now 


I am also worried they won’t get the full margin 

finding keeping busy seeing friends and doing things helps distract me 

do hope it all goes well for you good luck 

sounds like we have similar fears ! 

Hi Pauly


Well, I hope you’ve been having a very relaxing day and that was great to know on the clear margins. Sorry you’re so sore and feeling sickly (not surprised you didn’t fancy the black puddin then :smileytongue:). I couldn’t believe how many tabs you had to take, before the op - 15 !! almost a meal in themselves. That was good of him to say “be optimistic”. Sounds like you’re going to need some feeding up when your tums more settled. Extra sos tomorrow then. 

Hope the house survey went well (that’s an extra lot on!) and hope your positivity keeps steaming forwards, girl. Keep doing your exercises. Lots of love xxx

Love to everyone else too

Delly xxxxxxx




Yeh, got what you meant on the margins, just that it was good they felt they’d taken enough. Glad you’ve managed to eat and being strict with the exercises. Have to send out your Alan to stock up on tasty temptations for your return. Pleased you’re so positive. Hope you get a good nights rest tonight, but nothing like your own bed.
Yep, fingers all crossed for no more nasty chemo xxxxxx

Hi Pauly
How are you doing? Have been having technical probs, so haven’t been able to log on the last 3 days. You’re probably feeling more comfey now the drains are out are you? you doin your exercises missus!! xxx