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Breast Cancer

Post 1990 lymphedema not a problem?

03/20/2009

Question:

A surgeon told the nurses that since 1990 there is no concern about taking blood pressure or having IV access on the surgical side of a mastectomy. This is due to a change in how the surgery is now done?

Answer:

Lymphedema has been less of a problem lately as surgeons are removing fewer lymph nodes with breast cancer surgery. However, there is still some risk. I would suggest asking your surgeon for a recommendation if you have had lymph nodes removed what his/her recommendations are.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University