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  • luan

Let's get physio

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

There’s a faint possibility that I may soon have a new surgery date for DIEP phase 2 (The Nipple One), so I’m back on the allied healthcare train. First stop: physiotherapy - woo woo!

As well as my medical specialists, I also have a wider team that have helped me through treatment and recovery the last 2 1/2 years.

My physio specialises in lymphoedema management. I don’t have lymphoedema but, because I had radiotherapy to the axilla and a couple of sentinel nodes removed during my skin-sparing mastectomy, I have a low but life-long risk of developing it as the flow of lymph fluid in my arm and breast has been/is re-routed somewhat.

As well as lymphoedema risk monitoring and prevention, they also help me manage my scars and cording from my surgeries using laser and massage, and advise me on pre/re-hab exercises.

This session I had:

• Laser to a couple of cords in my armpit (aka axillary web syndrome)

• My fascia stretched to help release post-rads tightening

• Drainage massage to my reconstructed breast.

• An L-Dex test of the amount of fluid in my arm

• Measurements taken of my arm for a new sleeve

They have also recommended compression garments for phase 2 which, because it will be combined with a hysterectomy and ovary removal, will mean that the lymph flow is again disturbed in the abdominal area.

This may all seem a bit full-on for something that I don’t have (and my precautionary approach has been commented on by at least one medical specialist 🤷🏼‍♀️), but once you get lymphoedema you have it for life. It’s hard to see what’s going on under the skin and know if it’s developing so, as with cancer, prevention and early detection is key.

A week before surgery I’ll see my physio for an L-Dex test to see if there’s anything we need to prep for (last time I went down to theatre wearing my sleeve) and to put together a rehab plan.

Gotta have a plan 🙌🏻

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