Lymphedema risk, healing time with sentinel biopsy?

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Question from Lils: After having a lymph node removed, how long of a time does it take for the soreness to completely go away? Are cancer survivors who had a sentinel node biopsy susceptible to lymphedema?
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. There will be swelling and lumpiness at the incision site at least for several weeks and into several months. Eventually, the swelling will go down and there will always be a little bit of tenderness at the scar tissue.
Linda Miller Women who have had sentinel node biopsy are at less risk to get lymphedema; it's about 10% to12% of incidents at this point. We do recommend that if you have sentinel node dissection that you still follow the lymphedema precaution list.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called After Surgery: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects featured Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answering your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 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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