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Noticed ankle and feet swollen. Had bilateral mastectomy. Diagnosed with lymphedema. What can be done?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
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My left ankle and foot are swollen. Background: I had a bilateral mastectomy in 2011 - two lymph nodes taken out of left arm and 1 from right arm., a colostomy on 2012 (I still wear the bag, no infection) and a bilateral operation to remove excess skin under arms on 4/23/ Last week I was diagnosed with lymphedema in my left arm and am going for treatment. I had ultrasound done on both legs for clots on 7/2/2013, no clots. I had a electrocardigram in mid April and was fine. We are experiencing a heat wave right now. I also drove from MA to upper state NY going on 6/21 and coming home on 6/24, I did all of the driving.
Posted Fri, 26 Jul 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Vakul Aren 2 hours later
Welcome to Health Care Magic.THe development of lymphedema in the lymphatic supply of the left ankle and foot may be the cause of the swelling.This may be secondary to blockage of lymph vessels of the left leg ,alternatively impaired venous circulation due to pressure on the pelvic veins may also cause this .Another possibility would be the development of Deep vein thrombosis in the left leg due to prolonged sitting during the long drive on 21st and 24th XXXXXXX this can be checked for by doing a Doppler Study of the vessels of the left leg.It would be prudent to discuss this with your doctor and Oncologist who can investigate this as per the physical findings on examination.Local trauma like a sprain to thew left ankle should be ruled out.Keeping the foot elevated may help reduce the swelling.
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Follow-up: Noticed ankle and feet swollen. Had bilateral mastectomy. Diagnosed with lymphedema. What can be done? 16 hours later
I will check with my doctor on Monday. I forgot to mention that I have arthritis in both of my knees, could this also be a cause of the swelling. Swelling is worse at nght, by the morning it is down. I was checked yesterday for lymphedema in this leg. I will say that when I had the ultrasound there was fluid in my leg. Pls advise.
Answered by Dr. Vakul Aren 6 hours later
Hi again

Inflammation due to arthritis in the ankle and foot may also cause swelling,but that will be accompanied by pain and raised local temperature with difficulty in walking.The oedema develops during the day because of sitting and standing, in the night the lymphedema will settle down due to recumbent posture and elevation of legs while sleeping.
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