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