I had a mastectomy in 1998 and have had no reoccurences; nor have I ever had lymphedema. At present, I am 64 years old and have a lot of loose skin in the upper arm area (aka "batwings"). I'd like to get a brachioplasty to correct this. Can someone postmastectomy have this surgery?
Posted: 05 Jun 2012 06:58 AM Originally Posted: 05 Jun 2012 06:59 AM
Happy to hear you have not experienced a cancer recurrence nor lymphedema.
Having had a mastectomy is not a contraindication to having surgery. I would suggestyou speak with your surgeon about your concerns.
I think you are asking not if the surgery is feasible, but whether or not having the procedure will cause lymphedema in your post-mastectomy arm.
The answer is" I do not know".
Lymphedema is an interesting phenomena.The information below mighthelp explain why no one can absolutelysay "Yes, you will develop lymphedema" or "No, you will not develop lymphedema" after brachioplasty.
1. Can develop or become clinically evident as long as 20 years after a surgical procedure even without any known additional insult , surgery , significant weight gain, infection or trauma.
2. Is not just a problem withplumbing.
3. Occurrence , timing of development and severity of the process is believed to potentially beinfluenced by : individual variations in lymphaticsystem anatomy and structure, genetics, medical co-morbidities, concurrent medications, age, gender, confounding / co treatments, past surgeries, inflammation, additional insults, weight, etc.
Post mastectomy individualswithout lymphedema might have a fully competent lymphatic system or a compromised lymphatic system that is functional under normal demands but dysfunctional under higher demands for fluid removal. Persons mayharbor subclinical lymphedema . In other words, the lymphedema is extremely mild and basicallyinvisible to the person or even a trained examiner. **
Do surgeons ever operate in an area with lymphedemaor at risk for lymphedema?Yes.
Is body contouring surgery ever associated with the development of lymphedema?Yes.
in my review of the literature, I could not find a prospective study delineating the frequency of lymphedema development after brachioplasty nor the risk for development of lymphedema with brachioplastyin a post mastectomy arm.
Having had a mastectomy is not a contraindication to havingsurgery. I would suggestyou speak with your surgeon about your concerns. If you decide to proceed with the procedure, I suggest you coordinate with your surgeon for judicious and diligent post surgical compression and even referral to a lymphedema therapist when you are adequately healedfor assistance with post op care and initiation of preventive care .
Posted: 20 Jun 2012 09:27 AM Originally Posted: 20 Jun 2012 09:29 AM