Guidelines to reduce the risk of Lymphedema or for those who have had lymph nodes removed or radiation for breast surgery.


Avoid infection -Give blood in the non affected arm. Keep skin clean. Protect for scratches and cuts if possible.

Avoid burns -Protect arms from sunburn. Avoid burns from splashing grease or steam. Do not use Hot Tubs and saunas unless otherwise directed.

Keep skin protected -Use moisturizers and soap that are PH balanced. Protect hands with gloves while cleaning or gardening.

Avoid using shoulder straps –Carry purses and computer bags etc. on the other arm.

Avoid restrictive clothing –Blood pressure should be taken on the non affected side. Do not wear restrictive jewellery

Avoid muscle strain – exercise and normal activity is very good for you. Just do not over do it.

Eat healthy –Maintaining a healthy weight reduces your risk for developing Lymphedema. Eat less sodium.


Watch for:

  • A feeling of fullness in your arm (some say a heavy feeling.)
  • A difference in size between the affected arm and the non-affected arm.
  • Weakness or not being able to move it as well as you used to.
  • If you press your fingers into the affected arm and leave there for 20 seconds,  the impression of the fingers remain.