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2806 Removing the Lymph Nodes in your armpit

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If, as a result of our investigations we find that the lymph nodes we have tested contain a high-volume of cancer cells, something we call macro-metastasis, it will be necessary for your surgeon to remove all the lymph nodes in your lower armpit. The procedure of removing all the lymph nodes (also called glands) in your armpit is called an Axillary Node Clearance or Axillary Dissection. This procedure can take place immediately after we have completed a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy and received the test results back from laboratory. This avoids the need for a second operation which means that your final results and subsequent treatment can start quicker. However, it can also be completed as a stand alone operation, separate from your Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy. Your surgeon will talk you beforehand about your options and won’t proceed without your consent. If an Axillary Node Clearance is necessary and you have given us consent to go ahead straight after your biopsy, your surgeon will carry out the procedure. But because you will still be asleep from your biopsy, you will not know that this additional step has been taken until you wake up after the operation. Having an Axillary Node Clearance means that your surgeon will remove all the lymph nodes from your armpit. The amount will vary from person to person, but they are usually quite small so you won’t have a lot of tissue removed. These nodes will be analysed after the operation to find out how many of the nodes are involved, which may influence our treatment recommendations A drain will also be placed into your armpit towards the end of the operation to remove blood, secretions other tissue fluids and to help your wound to heal. There are potential side effects from an Axillary Node Clearance, such as shoulder stiffness, nerve pain and lymphoedema, which is swelling of the arm. It is advisable to take painkillers initially and you will be taught arm exercises to reduce any stiffness. Exercising after surgery will help you get back the range of movement you had beforehand, prevent long-term problems with shoulder Omovement and will reduce the risk of lymphoedema.

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Duration: 2 minutes and 9 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: richardwh on Nov 16, 2015

2806 Removing the Lymph Nodes in your armpit

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