Pain after swelling
Complex and long-term rehabilitation, not simplerecovery of the volume of the removed breast, weakness and psychological self-doubt, pain of physical and psychological nature, treatment of concomitant diseases - this is not a complete list of troubles that arise in women after a mastectomy. Often, the process of recovery may be accompanied by the development of complications.
For example, some women in the process of postoperative rehabilitation may face such ailments as:
- Lymphatic swelling of the hand, which can be called lymphostasis or lymphedema. This condition, which can often accompany pain in the swollen arm, limiting its mobility, etc.,
- Erysipelas of the tissues of the hand, on the part of the operation performed, in which the affected arm suffers quite severely.
- Various trophic changes in the skin on the arm from the operation.
It is important at the same time to understand that eachthe woman is individual, and this means that the time necessary for complete recovery, rehabilitation and recovery, of course, can be radically different.
Treatment, complications arising, respectively,will also be radically different, both in substance and in detail. But the main thing is that the correct psychological attitude towards successful recovery is at least half the case.
Nevertheless, we would like to consider in more detail the two main problems that can threaten patients in the process of rehabilitation: lymphatic edema and erysipelas.
After that, we will try to figure out how to prevent the development of these complications in the postoperative period.
What is lymphostasis, its symptoms?
Lymphostasis (otherwise called lymphatic edema, or lymphedema) can develop after previous mastectomy, due to disruption of the formation and outflow of lymph.
Swelling after a successful mastectomy may occur,in the first place, because with such a radical surgical treatment, in addition to the tissues of the affected breast, a part of the closely located (to the site of operation) lymph nodes is also excised.
After the mastectomy performed by the surgeons, the remaining lymph nodes in their place simply can not cope with the physiologically normal (but noticeably increased) load on them.
And full-fledged compensatory mechanisms with mastectomy performed do not start immediately. As a result, there is lymphatic edema, which requires its own adequate treatment.
The symptomatology that characterizes the lymphatic edema of the hand that develops after a mastectomy operation is quite understandable. So, with lymphostasis, the patients are observed:
- Pain in a strongly swollen arm.
- Edema of the extremity, which has a practically constant and obviously progressive nature.
- A sharp increase in the affected limb in the volume.
- Very noticeable compaction of swelling subcutaneous tissue.
- Essential coarsening of the skin of the hand.
- Sometimes hyperkeratosis.
- Trophic ulcers or skin cracks.
Note that constant progressionlymphostasis, when there is no timely treatment of the problem, can lead to the development of limb hypertrophy, to the psychological and physical suffering of the patient.
But, the most dangerous and quite frequent complication of primary lymphostasis, can become erysipelas, which often leads to an early disability.
Appointed treatment of lymphostasis can, doctors,who performed an operation to remove the breast, although quite often women can be redirected to specialists of a narrow profile working in the field of lymphology or phlebology.
How does erysipelas manifest?
So, erysipelas is aacute bacterial infection of the dermis, which also affects all of the subcutaneous tissue. This disease is caused in the overwhelming majority of cases by streptococci of different groups.
Thus, group A (or S.pyogenes) causes an erysipelas in 59-66% of all cases, group B (or S.agalactiae) provokes the development of this problem in almost 9% of cases, group C (which is S.dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis) or G - is the cause of erysipelas in 25 % of cases.
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It is believed that the entrance gate for thisinfection in the rehabilitation period after mastectomy can be foci of trophic lesions, so often accompanying the started lymphatic edema of the upper limb.
Moreover, with lymphedema dangerous streptococciquite a long time can peacefully exist directly in the lymph vessels of our skin, but with a sharp decrease in immunity, there may be a sharp exacerbation of the problem with the corresponding symptomatology.
The disease in most patients begins acutely, accompanied by a severe fever that precedes (for some time) the underlying skin symptoms.
As a rule, the disease always accompanies pain in the affected area of the skin. And the pain with such an erysipelatous disease, can be of varying intensity, from moderate to fairly strong.
The disease that occurs on the background of lymphostasis developing after a mastectomy performed is characterized by frequent relapses.
And each of these relapses of erysipelas will only worsen the course of the primary lymphedema, and delay the rehabilitation process.
Note - treatment of this condition should be adequate and immediate, even if the pain is mild and does not worry the patient too much.
How to prevent the appearance of the described complications and get rid of the pain in the swollen limb?
It is logical that in order to prevent developmentcomplications after removal of the mammary gland (lymphatic edema and erysipelas) it is necessary to perform a few simple but effective rules. Namely:
- Never ignore manifestations even scarcelynoticeable swelling of the hand in the postoperative period. Noticing minimal edema or pain in the hand, in the fingers, in the entire limb or in the chest, you should immediately consult with the doctor who treated you.
- Gentlely treat the limb from the previous operation. Do not use this limb for injections, or blood sampling, and even to measure blood pressure.
- It is necessary to observe necessary hygienic measures.
- It is best to avoid lifting the weights with a damaged arm. Do not just wear too tight or heavy jewelry on the damaged arm and even fingers.
- It is always important to discuss the complex of necessary physical exercises with your doctor. Finiteness is important not to overload, but also not to leave without load.
And the main rule - never prescribe yourself the treatment of lymphatic edema.
Remember the treatment of such a serious postoperative complication must be under the supervision of a doctor!
A few to alleviate the pain will help: proper massage, physiotherapy, the use of a compression hose and other procedures that should also be used only after consultation with the doctor.
With the right lifestyle, lyfedema or lymphostasis can not be a hindrance. Only a few simple rules will put you back on track.
Proper nutrition. Doctors-lyophologists know what diet should be observed.
Skin care. Daily.
Physiotherapy. A complex of simple exercises for 20 minutes a day.
Compression knitwear. The correct jersey is selected by specialists.
Manual lymphatic drainage every six months or a year from a specialist. Helps to disperse stagnant edema, sharply reduces the likelihood of erysipelas.
I myself went through it. My legs are hurting from childhood. And on my experience I was convinced that only these rules allow the disease to not progress, helped me literally, to get on my feet.
It is a pity that the specialists in our country,really dealing with this problem, very, very little. Basically, however, either ineffective methods are proposed, or operations that belong to the first.
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