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Fluid Retention Fluid Retention

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Unread 12-18-2003, 05:03 PM
Fluid Retention

I had a hysterectomy a year ago, and then went through Chemo and radiation - All is good but they took out lymph nodes and now when I walk alot or stand to much I swell up like a pillsbury dough boy. And by the evening I can't even bend my knees. It does sometimes get very painful. Any suggestions on what will help.
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Unread 12-19-2003, 08:19 AM
Fluid Retention

s Waterwoman

Whenever our lymph channels are disturbed, like for biopsies during a radical hyster, the chance of lymphedema exists.
We often think of lymphedema in terms of breast cancer patients and their arms. But the same type of problem can occur in our legs.
I suggest you contact one of your cancer doctors. There are various treatments out there to help if this is indeed your problem.
Best wishes.

Unread 12-19-2003, 09:14 AM
Fluid Retention

There is an organization devoted to lymphedema sufferers, called the National Lymphedema Network which includes a comprehensive listing of physical therapists and physicians who specialize in the treatment of this problem.

I've had similar woes since a horrendously toxemic pregnancy some years ago; it had cleared up until the hyst. Now I wear the Spenco support pantyhose even in the hottest weather to keep the ankle and knee swelling down. It's pretty common, but often not discussed. You see a lot more information on the breast cancer sites, as lymphedema in the arm is common after mastectomy.

There's usually at least one physical therapist in some of the larger hospitals who has some experience with this; it's worth asking for a referral, and insurance will usually pay for it. In the meanwhile, be very careful with shaving legs and bumping into things; it's very hard for skin to heal when the lymph system is compromised in that way.

Good luck, and please pass on what information you get? It seems to be a much more common problem than is generally acknowledged...

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Unread 12-19-2003, 01:52 PM
Fluid Retention

Karenann and Audrey shared some great information. One thing I noticed when I had ascites (which is totally different than lymphedema) is that the fluid amounts being retained went way down when I cut out all salt from my diet. That was really hard, since most foods come with salt. I had to find salt-free everything, but the fluid level came down. I don't know if eliminating salt might help, but thought I'd just through it out there. I'm sure the board that Audrey posted will have better suggestions.
Unread 12-21-2003, 09:03 PM
Fluid Retention

About 6 months after my radical hyst, my right leg began to swell. Since I stand on my feet 8 hours a day, it really started to bother me. My gyn/onc referred me to a lymphedemist and through much effort we got it under control. I do wear a thigh high support hose all waking hours.
It is a problem that can be controlled if you follow what the lymphedemist suggests.
I can go into more detail just let me know.

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