Surgery for breast cancer may involve removing the tumor (lumpectomy), or a mastectomy, sampling some lymph nodes in your underarm and / or radiation therapy. All of these can create scar tissue and interrupt the path of lymph fluid.
A condition called lymphedema can result immediately after surgery or even several years later. Lymphedema can progress if left untreated and can result in serious infections. Early diagnosis, prevention, education, and treatment will improve the long-term management of the symptoms. More information is available in our brochure Lymphedema Prevention for Breast Cancer Patients .
Upstate Medical University has an excellent Lymphedema Management Program. The program includes manual lymphatic drainage, exercise, wound care, nutritional recommendations, and setting up long-term goals. The therapists work closely with the staff at the Breast Care Center and the Multi-Disciplinary Breast Cancer Program in coordinating your care.