Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Access for blood tests / BP checks etc. post surgery


Re: Access for blood tests / BP checks etc. post surgery

Hi Cassowary


In the past people were advised to avoid having blood taken from the ‘at risk’ arm as it was thought this would reduce the risk of lymphoedema.  However, there’s no consistent evidence that taking blood, having an injection or intravenous fluids, or doing a blood pressure reading, will increase the risk of lymphoedema. The decision to perform medical procedures using the arm on the treated side should depend on clinical need and the availability of alternative sites


People often prefer to use the other arm but there may be situations when it is necessary to use the ‘at risk’ arm.  If you are worried about having procedures done on your affected side, it may be helpful to discuss this with your treatment team. 


You can read more about reducing the risk of lymphoedema by clicking on the link.


Here at Breast Cancer Care we offer a range of free supportive services that you might be interested in. For more details about all of these services, please see the information on the link.


Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.  


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Care Nurse


Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer. This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread.


Access for blood tests / BP checks etc. post surgery

Prior to recent surgery I was sent for pre-op blood tests.  The phlebotomist had difficulty and referred me to her more experienced colleague, who asked whether she could use the other arm.  My understanding is that post surgery which included lymph node removal, the arm on the same side should only be used in an emergency. She accepted this, and persisted eventually having success with my hand, but stated that in the past the Head of the Breast Clinic (now retired) had indicated that it was acceptable to take blood, and she said that she would easily have been able to take from my treatment arm. What is the current advice please?