Be careful about lymphedema

Any type of infection can cause lymphedema and you must be very careful after surgery. You should carry Neosporin with you at all times. If you get a scratch, you need an antibiotic immediately. You never shave under your arm with a regular razor. You always use an electric razor. You don't garden without gloves on. If you get a paper cut you take care of it immediately. Last fall I was walking and I fell on the street and had a compound fracture and the first thing I thought of I've got to do something immediately so I don't get infection. I have a girlfriend who got it from her cat scratching her and she was like two and a-half years post-op. Lymphedema can come anytime post-operatively. I've seen women four years out develop a case of lymphedema.

 © 1999 Michigan State University
Communication Technology Laboratory