When embarking on any medical or surgical procedure that could potentially lead to lymphedema, here are some suggestions. By taking preventive measures, you put yourself in the driver's seat.
KEEP A LOG!
Check in with your entire body before, during and after any treatment that could potentially cause problems for your lymphatic system.
- Physically touch your body and note anything that catches your attention.
- Close your eyes and note any sensations you feel.
- After treatment, take notice of any swelling. If the swelling doesn’t resolve within 6-12 weeks, then you definitely want to schedule an evaluation to figure out why. Long term swelling is NOT normal.
Before any event that could potentially lead to lymphedema, ask your surgeon or doctor for a referral to a qualified lymphedema therapist for a pre-treatment evaluation and measurements. If this isn ’t possible, take your own measurements (download the Solidea Medical self measuring guide). I also recommend keeping track of your weight. Weight change can affect your measurements. Armed with this information, you ’ll have concrete data to use later for comparison.
P.S. Be sure to get copies of all measurements to keep with your records.