Lymphedema occurs once your leg or arm swells, typically the following surgery to remove lymph nodes. Though it is a common consequence following cancer surgery, lymphedema is not confined to that procedure. Lymphedema could arise after any operation or infection. Due to the prevalence of Tamarac Lymphedema, you must learn how to limit your risk, particularly if you are scheduled for surgery soon. Here are five key tips on how to prevent lymphedema.
1. Get Routine Medical Examinations
Routine checkups must include lymphedema screening if you have undergone cancer surgery or other therapies that raise your danger of lymphedema. Screening is for individuals that are yet to identify or report symptoms.
After completing cancer therapy, your physician or a licensed lymphedema expert may take standardized assessments of your arm, leg, or affected body part. At subsequent appointments, they will continue to assess the affected region to determine if it is growing (a warning indicator for lymphedema). Discuss with your cancer care provider how frequently you will need examinations.
2. Achieve and/or Maintain A Healthy Weight
Individuals who are obese are in greater danger of lymphedema, and obesity could make lymphedema treatment more difficult. Discuss with your cancer care provider what a healthy body weight for you would be. Get their guidance on how to achieve and maintain your desired weight.
Using the cancer-affected part of your body for normal, everyday activities is vital. This activity will aid in your recovery and strength restoration. Utilizing your muscles also improves lymph fluid circulation and drainage.
Additionally, it helps maintain muscle flexibility and minimizes scarring. Consult with a skilled fitness professional or certified lymphedema expert to create a personalized exercise program that begins with low intensity and builds gradually to prevent overuse.
4. Prevent Skin Burns, Infections, and Injuries
In response to a skin injury, burn, or infection, your body sends extra white blood cells and fluid to the affected area. If the lymph nodes and lymphatic veins are absent or damaged, it is more difficult for the body to move this excess fluid, which could cause or exacerbate lymphedema.
5. Be Mindful Of Blood Draws or Injections
Are the lymph nodes beneath your arm removed during your cancer therapy? Some physicians suggest getting blood drawn, IVs administered, and injections administered in the unaffected arm whenever feasible. Other physicians advise having flu shots and immunizations in the unaffected arm or elsewhere, such as the hip.
However, not all specialists concur with this limitation. Moreover, it is impossible to have an unaffected arm if your doctor removes the lymph nodes under both arms. Therefore, discussing with your physician if this restriction is appropriate for your circumstances is essential.
6. Observe For Symptoms Of Cellulitis
Cellulitis is the infection of the subcutaneous tissues. This condition makes you more vulnerable to lymphedema. Unfortunately, cellulitis can lead to other severe complications; thus, it is important to seek specialist care.
Lymphedema causes swelling, skin irritation, redness, and limb discomfort. Additionally, you might experience flu and fever-like symptoms. Once it becomes a recurring issue, antibiotics could be necessary to manage your condition. Nonetheless, understanding the preventative measures for lymphedema can help you avoid troubling concerns.