Not sure SallyLou - all I can say is I wasn't warned about the potential risks of lymphoedema when I had SNB, but was warned after full clearance....so the risks must be much higher. I only had 5 removed initially, and there were 13 in there, so there were plenty to still do the job. However, everybody's number of lymph nodes varies. Do ask your BCN for advice.
You might have seen this on the other thread but just in case you haven't I have posted it here, it's a link to the BCC publication on lymphoedema, if you would like to have a look at this it can be found by following the link below:-
It's not easy to get anyone to give you a definitive answer on this - like you, I had SNB before my mastectomy at the beginning of this year, and sampled lymph nodes but no clearance. (However, I did have a previous cancer in the same breast in 1991, so I'd already had level one sampling and also rads).
When I broke that arm this April, I started getting very exercised about the risk of lymphoedema! I had been doing the exercises and gentle massage already, because my BCN had said everyone was definitely at risk. My onc, who I saw not that long after I'd had both my plasters off, said that there was a slight risk, but not high because I'd only had SNB and sampling. But he also said there was so little hard evidence on why some women did get it and others didn't that he couldn't say I wouldn't. I definitely have a puffier forearm and hand, but it's not clear if it's the wrist break or if I have developed some lymphoedema - I go back to the BCN when my movement with that arm's back to normal.
So I'm carrying on taking care within normal limits - so I try and remember to use gloves if I garden, but usually don't, and I don't do hot tubs or saunas anyway.
I'm not sure if that's any help!
Not sure about this to be honest - I know I was told I was at risk because I had node sampling where they removed 7 nodes. Might be worth asking your BC nurse about this.
I am a bit confused about whether I am at risk of lymphoedema. I had a WLE and sentinel node biopsy (clear) in February of last year, followed by mastectomy and recon but no lymph node clearance.
I didn't think I was at risk, but now I'm not so sure after reading the thread about medi-tags. I have full movement in my arm and my SNB scar is barely visible. Was also wondering whether I can have my underarms waxed for my wedding in September - beginning to think this may not be a good idea!
Thanks in advance!