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Compression bra use after Lymphadenectomy?

Forums General Melanoma Community Compression bra use after Lymphadenectomy?

  • Post
    Rendergirl
    Participant

    Hi everyone,

    I want to write here of my experiences so far because it is so helpful to those who are just going through it, and you all have helped me so much, but I am only a few days post-op and still healing. I will write more later, and/or try to answer questions for those who want to know my experience. But right now I do have another question.

    Hi everyone,

    I want to write here of my experiences so far because it is so helpful to those who are just going through it, and you all have helped me so much, but I am only a few days post-op and still healing. I will write more later, and/or try to answer questions for those who want to know my experience. But right now I do have another question.

    As I said, I had surgery on Wednesday to remove all lymph nodes in my right arm. They sent me home with a drain, and a compression bra on. It's important to note that the compression bra has been on since my initial wide excision of my mole site on my upper chest a few weeks ago. But I don't know if they put a new one on me because of my chest incision, which is still healing, or if it has something to do with the lymph node surgery and keeping lymphadema at bay. I took a shower today and changed my dressings and my incision site under my arm looks good, and I took the compression bra off. I don't know if I need to put it back on or not. Simple question, I know… but I will do anything to keep lymphadema from happening. Anyone have any info on this??

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      Carol Taylor
      Participant

      Hi and glad to know so far so good!

      Since my mole was on my arm and I didn't need a compression bra at any point, I can't answer that. However, they removed the nodes in your right arm.  "In" your arm or "under" your arm?

      At any rate, the arm's involved which means there are no lymph nodes there to keep the fluid circulating in that arm & hand.  My guess is "under" your arm is correct.  I may be wrong, but I don't think I am, but I don't think a bra is going to affect you getting or not getting lymphedema, at any point in the future, in your arm and maybe hand as well.

      I had the lymphedema massage and exersizes with my drain in under my left arm. Friend, right now you're very much in the healing stage and you don't want to do anything to interrupt that, especially with me, or any of us at this point, telling you how to massage and move that arm and your neck because we aren't there to show you just how easy & gentle you must be and we're not there to help you.

      Right now, call your surgeon's office in the morning and ask about wearing the bra…put it back on for now. Better safe than sorry. They put it back on you for a reason. Ask when you can make arrangements to begin seeing a physical therapist. You'll probably need one anyway to get full use of your arm back. Then you can discuss lymphedema massage & exercizes with that person.

      Keep in mind the vast majority of us don't get this. Only 4-6% ever develop lymphedema and it can come on early like mine or it can come up any time in the next 20 years or so. But 94-96% do NOT get it! According to my lymphedema PT specialist.  It's good to want to be proactive, you need to do some healing first and then you'll need someone who's trained to work with you and hands-on help you.

      Grace and peace,

      Carol

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      Carol Taylor
      Participant

      Hi and glad to know so far so good!

      Since my mole was on my arm and I didn't need a compression bra at any point, I can't answer that. However, they removed the nodes in your right arm.  "In" your arm or "under" your arm?

      At any rate, the arm's involved which means there are no lymph nodes there to keep the fluid circulating in that arm & hand.  My guess is "under" your arm is correct.  I may be wrong, but I don't think I am, but I don't think a bra is going to affect you getting or not getting lymphedema, at any point in the future, in your arm and maybe hand as well.

      I had the lymphedema massage and exersizes with my drain in under my left arm. Friend, right now you're very much in the healing stage and you don't want to do anything to interrupt that, especially with me, or any of us at this point, telling you how to massage and move that arm and your neck because we aren't there to show you just how easy & gentle you must be and we're not there to help you.

      Right now, call your surgeon's office in the morning and ask about wearing the bra…put it back on for now. Better safe than sorry. They put it back on you for a reason. Ask when you can make arrangements to begin seeing a physical therapist. You'll probably need one anyway to get full use of your arm back. Then you can discuss lymphedema massage & exercizes with that person.

      Keep in mind the vast majority of us don't get this. Only 4-6% ever develop lymphedema and it can come on early like mine or it can come up any time in the next 20 years or so. But 94-96% do NOT get it! According to my lymphedema PT specialist.  It's good to want to be proactive, you need to do some healing first and then you'll need someone who's trained to work with you and hands-on help you.

      Grace and peace,

      Carol

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      lhaley
      Participant

      Is the compression bra actually covering the area where you had the wide excision?  My original mole and then tumor was on the chest. The bra was not able to be high enough so they rigged up a dressing. THis was done because this area pulls and doesn't heal the same. For me it was done to help keep the scarring at a minimum (I was getting kehloid scars). I had general swelling also because they did a latisimus flap. They had me in a specialized long line ra to help keep the swelling down and for better support.

      Fast forward 4.5 years. Mel then went to the lymph nodes on the other side for the first time. Nodes(5) were removed behind the clavicle and in the arm.  About 2 months later my breast on that side turned red. First thought was mastitis. Antibiotics did'n help. Next thought was either inflammatorybreast cancer or the lymph node path had been damaged. Went through some tests and inflammatory breast cancer was basically ruled out. They had me massaging the area and instead of compression they had me wearing a looser bra. While wearing a bra the redness was worse.  After 3 months it started to fade. At this point I only have a tinge of color everyonce and awhile. 

      Each situation is different depending on what has occured.  If they sent you home with the bra on I would wear it until your next appointment and then make sure and ask.  How did they close the area? 

      Linda

      Stage IV since 06

      stable  PET in less than 2 weeks

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      lhaley
      Participant

      Is the compression bra actually covering the area where you had the wide excision?  My original mole and then tumor was on the chest. The bra was not able to be high enough so they rigged up a dressing. THis was done because this area pulls and doesn't heal the same. For me it was done to help keep the scarring at a minimum (I was getting kehloid scars). I had general swelling also because they did a latisimus flap. They had me in a specialized long line ra to help keep the swelling down and for better support.

      Fast forward 4.5 years. Mel then went to the lymph nodes on the other side for the first time. Nodes(5) were removed behind the clavicle and in the arm.  About 2 months later my breast on that side turned red. First thought was mastitis. Antibiotics did'n help. Next thought was either inflammatorybreast cancer or the lymph node path had been damaged. Went through some tests and inflammatory breast cancer was basically ruled out. They had me massaging the area and instead of compression they had me wearing a looser bra. While wearing a bra the redness was worse.  After 3 months it started to fade. At this point I only have a tinge of color everyonce and awhile. 

      Each situation is different depending on what has occured.  If they sent you home with the bra on I would wear it until your next appointment and then make sure and ask.  How did they close the area? 

      Linda

      Stage IV since 06

      stable  PET in less than 2 weeks

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      washoegal
      Participant

      Keep the bra on, at least until you talk to the doc, I had lymphedema in the breast.  Followed by mastitis.  Trust me you don't want to go there.   I had no ides it would drain into the breast.  But I suppose if I thought about it for a second, since I was being careful with my arm,  wearing a compression sleeve, etc. where else was it going. 

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      washoegal
      Participant

      Keep the bra on, at least until you talk to the doc, I had lymphedema in the breast.  Followed by mastitis.  Trust me you don't want to go there.   I had no ides it would drain into the breast.  But I suppose if I thought about it for a second, since I was being careful with my arm,  wearing a compression sleeve, etc. where else was it going. 

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