Rhode Island Hospital
Providence, RI 02903
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The Miriam Hospital
164 Summit Avenue
Providence, RI 02906
After your surgery, it's normal to become easily tired for the first few days. Make sure to get plenty of rest. It's also normal to have pain, swelling and redness at the site of your surgery. If it becomes worse, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Women who have had lymph nodes removed from under the arm, or who have had an axillary lymph node dissection, may experience arm swelling on the side of the surgery. This condition is known as lymphedema.
Ways you can reduce your risk of lymphedema:
Have your blood drawn, blood pressure taken and any shots given in the unaffected arm.
Promptly wash, treat and dress the affected arm if cut, bitten or burned.
Wear loose-fitting rubber gloves when working with household cleaning products or when you have your hands in water for a period of time.
Use caution when shaving your underarm area, and consider using an electric razor.
Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, especially on your arm and chest.
Exercise has physical and emotional benefits. Discuss with your doctor when to start and what type of exercise is right for you. With your doctor's approval, try to get back into your normal routine and activities.
If you're experiencing discomfort, try elevating your arm with a small pillow. This will alleviate pressure and may help you rest better.