Possible side effects of lymph node surgery

As with other operations, pain, swelling, bleeding, and infection are possible.

The main possible long-term effect of removing axillary lymph nodes is lymphedema (swelling) of the arm. This occurs because any excess fluid in the arms normally travels back into the bloodstream through the lymphatic system. Removing the lymph nodes sometimes blocks the drainage from the arm, causing this fluid to remain and build up.

You may also have short- or long-term limitations in moving your arm and shoulder after surgery. This is more common after an ALND than a SLNB. Your doctor may give you exercises to ensure that you do not have permanent problems with movement (a frozen shoulder). Numbness of the skin of the upper, inner arm is another common side effect because the nerve that controls sensation here travels through the lymph node area.

Some patients notice a rope-like structure that begins under the arm and can extend down toward the elbow. This, sometimes called axillary web syndrome or lymphatic cording, is more common after an ALND than SLNB. Symptoms may not appear for weeks or even months after surgery. It can cause pain and limit movement of the arm and shoulder. This often goes away without treatment, although some people seem to find physical therapy helpful.


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Chemotherapy for breast cancer in men

Hormone therapy for breast cancer in men

Targeted therapy for breast cancer in men

Bone-directed therapy for breast cancer in men



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Oncologists, Breast Surgeons are the specialists who deal with the breast cancer