Are post surgical lymphatic massages recommend after a mastectomy?

Is it safe to have post-operative lymphatic massages after a mastectomy? What are the benefits? How often can you go for a massage?

Doctor Answers 1

Lymphatic massage is beneficial

Thank you for your question. As you probably know, not all mastectomies are the same. If you have had a simple mastectomy and perhaps a sentinel node biopsy, the chance of requiring lymphatic massage, to offset possible lymphedema, is very small. However, if the sentinel node biopsy involved 4-5 nodes, or if you had a modified radical mastectomy with lymph node dissection, then the likelihood of developing lymphedema is much higher. In this circumstance, I have found the patient's benefit from lymphatic massage. Of course, this needs to be administered by a certified physical therapist who is experienced in doing this. Several treatments per week may be necessary.

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