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Old 10-17-2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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Lymphedema and Cellulitis

I cannot find any topics about lymphedema or cellulitis in the arm. Will someone post about it. I had melanoma and I can't find that either.

 
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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Re: Lymphedema and Cellulitis

Lymphedema in the arm often occurs following surgery to remove lymph nodes in the armpit. Lymph fluid flows up the arm into the chest and when nodes are removed or diseased they disrupt the flow of fluid causing swelling. Cellulitis is an infection in the soft tissue of body, like skin, subcutaneous tissue, and can occur anywhere there is a break, puncture , bite or disruption in skin. It requires antibiotics to clear up, and if not treated, usually form an abcess under skin, that is more difficult to treat. The connection to melanoma would be if the surgical site of removal got infected, it might be called cellulitis. If the melanoma spread to lymph nodes or nodes were removed, that might cause lymphedema. I hope that helps.

 
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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Re: Lymphedema and Cellulitis

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Originally Posted by ladybud View Post
Lymphedema in the arm often occurs following surgery to remove lymph nodes in the armpit. Lymph fluid flows up the arm into the chest and when nodes are removed or diseased they disrupt the flow of fluid causing swelling. Cellulitis is an infection in the soft tissue of body, like skin, subcutaneous tissue, and can occur anywhere there is a break, puncture , bite or disruption in skin. It requires antibiotics to clear up, and if not treated, usually form an abcess under skin, that is more difficult to treat. The connection to melanoma would be if the surgical site of removal got infected, it might be called cellulitis. If the melanoma spread to lymph nodes or nodes were removed, that might cause lymphedema. I hope that helps.
I am dealing with cellulitis now (it flared up Monday morning) and I started taking an antibiotic that morning as I had an appointment to have a biopsy on my right breast. I had Stage III Melanoma 31 years ago (on right arm above elbow). All my lymph nodes were removed and I have always had mild lymphedema but it never bothered me. It was only slightly swollen and I never had therapy for it and never had any trouble with it until about 8 years ago. Since then I've been hospitalized 5 times and was given IV antibiotics each time. I was referred to therapy after the 2nd or 3rd time, started wearing a compression sleeve, had it wrapped and massaged and went quite awhile with it under control. I was not always faithful wearing my sleeve.
I was hospitalized in February and have worn my sleeve faithfully since then but no therapy. It reoccurred in July and I was on Zyvox for 2 weeks and saw an Infectious Disease dr. He gave me an AB (Clindamyacin) to keep on hand in case I needed it. My therapist won't touch me until I have been on AB for 72 hours so I have appt Fri. In the meantime I'm wearing my sleeve and looking for someone to correspond with who has had experience with this.

Last edited by Administrator; 10-18-2012 at 01:17 PM.

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:48 AM   #4
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Re: Lymphedema and Cellulitis

Do you know why the cellulitis keeps recurring? Is the lymphedema so bad the fluid oozes out? I have not had this myself, but a very good friend struggled with it after mastectomy for years. I think this is from the lymph node removal and it has probably worsened over time just because of aging of the lymph vessels and veins. I know active exercise with those arm muscles can help, like squeezing a soft ball with the right hand several times a day for as long as you can, keeping it elevated whenever you can, and some folks wear a sling to keep the lower arm from hanging down, to combat gravity effects.


I hope some others will join in to help you. It is a difficult problem.

Last edited by Administrator; 10-18-2012 at 01:18 PM.

 
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