Acupuncture OK if no signs of lymphedema?

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Question from CorinnaL: Is it ok to get acupuncture needles in the arm of someone whose lymph nodes have been removed if there are no symptoms of lymphedema?
Answers - Raymond Chang I do not advise that. Even very small nicks sometimes can cause dramatic infections in the limb that has no lymph node. The infection can move very quickly. Although infections due to acupuncture overall are rare, we've all seen patients who have done nothing but maybe go to the nail salon and had a cut in the cuticle. They didn't even know there was any injury, but next thing they know, the whole thing is infected. This is especially bad when on chemo.

We do not advocate needles in the arm of lymph node dissection.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Traditional Chinese Medicine featured Raymond Chang, M.D. and moderator Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answering your questions about how to discuss Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with your cancer doctor.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in September 2005.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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