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Lymphatic System Damage Lymphatic System Damage

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Unread 01-23-2005, 12:25 PM
Lymphatic System Damage

Wondering if anyone has experienced damage or interruption in the function of their Lymphatic System since their Hysterectomy.

Some of the signs of this may include localized swelling in the pelvic cavity, and lower extremities. This may or may not include pain and feelings of tightness and or heaviness in the legs and lower pelvis. It sometimes feels like a "waterbed" type sloshing in the area affected upon touch.

This is a possible complication I am told as a result of a Hysterectomy. When the uterus is removed in surgery there are many lymph vessels in that area that could be adversely affected. Sometimes this kind of swelling/edema is called Lymphedema. I have read that it also can occur after Radiation treatments for cancer or after related surgery. I did not have lymph nodes or any lymphatics removed during my Hysterectomy and have both my ovaries.

I am currently experiencing these symptoms including severe burning pain in my groin, inner thighs and down both legs. I am a very slight frame and have lost a significant amount of weight over the past few months due to illness and post-op complications. The pain keeps me from being able to sleep at night. My lower extremities are quite enlarged and do not correlate at all with my stature or recorded weight. This has just happened following my Hysterectomy, as I have not exhibited any symptoms before.

I also have a collection of fluid in my pelvic cavity that keeps showing up on ultrasound, that no one seems able to explain. It feels very irritated inside my "belly" and I can sometimes feel a sloshing sound when I lie down. It feels like an acidic fluid is rubbing against the sensitive internal tissues. Draining it has been suggested, but without knowing really what they are getting into doctors are somewhat apprehensive. My lower pelvis is somewhat distended despite it being boney and very concave. The middle has a small pouch like a Kangaroo.

Initially my husband and I joked about the look of my lower body, thinking that it would go away. After the journey and experience of surgery we didn't want to think it could be something serious, and felt it would be OK. But over time it has not changed and it is hard to have a body that is so unfamiliar and foreign. Not just in the way it looks but in the way that it feels and moves. I am trying to keep positive as I await news of further investigative tests to confirm a diagnosis. I wonder what it would be like to have knees again!

I would really appreciate your input and perspective, especially those of you who may have experienced something similar or who may have further information on lymphatics.

Thank you so much.

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Unread 01-23-2005, 05:30 PM
Lymphatic System Damage


I'm really confused with the information on this. I've read that the lymph is almost always cut through during a surgery because of it's nature. You've seen pictures right? It's a funny looking system. The lymph, I thought, is to drain the fluids from the body. the nodes are like filter that fight bacteria or viruses.

Having said that... I was under the impression that our swollen tummys referred to as "swelly bellys" is just that. Water beds of fluid that is not draining as well due to the surgery. It's a very common side effect and takes months and months to work out. I understood the lymph to regenerate...not sure if this is true.

I understand that is not just a possible side effect of the surgery, as opposed to a common side effect. I have, and it sounds like many have, swollen, tightness, all the things you said, except mine do not generate into the thighs or legs. Yours sounds more involved than the norm.

At my 6 weeks check up, my doctor said she could really feel the fluid in my tummy, but not to worry ...that it would take some time for it all to go down. She also said to keep up with the Motrin to reduce the swelling of the tender parts inside that were still healing.

Burning pain can sometimes be nerve pain. If there is swelling (fluid or tissue ) around the nerves in the pelvic area this could be the reason for the leg discomfort.

So many of us still have our Kangaroo pouch!! The leg involvement would really bother me and be uncomfortable too. Hope you can find some help with this. Let us know what you learn.

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