What is axillary web syndrome?

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Question from Patti: Can you provide information on axillary web syndrome (AWS)? I had an occurrence almost 3 years after surgery -- a lumpectomy with removal of 3 or 4 sentinel nodes and follow-up radiation. There is very little information on the subject, and my doctor said it is not very common. Thank you.
Answers - Linda Miller It's not unusual to have axillary web syndrome, or post-operative cording months or even years post-operative. Often times it's precipitated by a sudden increase in activity, especially if you haven't been doing regular stretching, which a lot of women kind of stop doing as time goes on. The best way to treat it is to restart your general stretching, lifting the arm up over your head while keeping your elbow straight.

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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