Surgery drains affect lymphedema risk?

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Question from Mimi: Do the drains used in surgery affect whether or not you may get lymphedema in your arm?
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. No. Some mild swelling in the arm after breast and axillary surgery is normal and not considered lymphedema. The drains placed in the axilla after surgery are meant to collect the fluid that can accumulate and generally only remain in place for 1 to 2 weeks. This does not impact the risk of long-term lymphedema.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called After Surgery: Short-term and Long-term Effects. Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answered your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

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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