Risk of lymphedema from flying?

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Question from EMcK: Is it advisable for all patients to wear a sleeve when flying? What if only one or two lymph nodes were removed? Is there a difference between short and long flights?
Answers - Nicole Stout Again, I think making a blanket statement like “all” or “every” to our patients does not serve them well. I do believe that there is ample anecdotal evidence that there is a shift in fluid when people are exposed to a decreased air pressure for a long period of time. My feet swell when I go to Los Angeles on a flight. So I think everyone's body will respond to that pressure differently. If a patient is to have a compression sleeve for an airplane flight, the garment should be well-fit by a trained therapist, and the patient should be familiar with how to properly wear the garment.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Preventing and Treating Arm Lymphedema featured Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.M.,Nicole Stout, M.P.T. C.L.T.-L.A.N.A., and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.S.C. answering your questions about ways to prevent and manage lymphedema.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. 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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