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Managing Lymphedema

There are many ladies out there who are concerned with the development of Lymphedema. One out of five women is affected by lymphedema who have had breast cancer treatment. In many cases symptoms take time to appear that could range from months to even years. There are specialists, surgeons and support communities that can help women to manage the condition.

Secondary Lymphedema

Secondary lymphedema is a condition that leads to swelling. It happens when one of the body’s defense mechanism i.e., lymphatic system is compromised.

Lymphatic system acts as one of the natural defenses against any infection. The lymphatic fluid in the fine network of vessels removes bacteria and passes it to the nearest lymph node for cleansing. If the Lymphatic system is damaged then the blockage may result in fluid accumulation, causing swelling in the limbs.

Primary lymphedema is different from Secondary lymphedema as former is caused by genetics. The initial symptoms include:

  • Feeling of heaviness in arms
  • Tightness in skin
  • Swelling in the affected area

Unfortunately there is no guard against lymphedema while undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Self Care

  • Though exercise doesn’t cure lymphedema, it can be significantly beneficial in decongesting the swollen limb. Increase in movement of muscles and joints multiply the flow of lymph by 15 times. This helps in managing the swelling of lymphedema.
  • Protect the body part from situations that could boost the production of lymph fluid. Situations like:
    • Cuts
    • Injury
    • Overuse
    • Extreme temperatures
      These factors increase the risk of lymphedema
  • Learn the symptoms and signs of infection of lymphedema to immediately act on it.

Products that Assist

Amoena Greta Wire Free Bra is a front and back closure, soft cup, average to a full fit bra with cotton pockets. With hooks in front and adjustable hooks in the back, it is great for women with restricted mobility from surgery, lymphedema or arthritis. A strong bottom band and power net backing make this fiberfill bra a great fit for the full figure woman. It is made up of 63% polyester, 29% nylon and 8% spandex.

Bellisse Compressure Comfort Garment is a medical compression garment that facilitates drainage of excess lymphatic fluid in the chest and breast area following breast cancer, and other chest or truncal surgeries. It addresses the specific needs of women with lymphedema, post-surgical discomfort, and post-radiation edema and/or fibrosis. This bra is an innovative approach to chest wall and breast edema following breast or chest surgery.

Trulife Charlotte Microfiber Stretch Leisure Mastectomy Bra is constructed of all over silky-soft microfiber fabric with delicate lace accents. Recommended for post-surgery or leisure wear, it offers a convenient, easy-to-use front closure and is ideal for women with limited dexterity, arthritis, or lymphedema. Soft, extended microfiber pockets are sewn into both sides for additional comfort.