Managing High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure increases your risk of heart problems, stroke, and kidney problems. If you have chest pains, a severe headache, nausea, dizziness, or lose your sight, call your doctor immediately.
If you have a history of high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about the best ways to control it. You may be able to take medication. You also can try these tips to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range:
- Exercise regularly. This keeps your heart fit and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce stress. Try relaxation techniques such as guided imagery or meditation.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking can raise your blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet. Fill your plate with foods low in saturated fat and sodium, and try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine because they can raise your blood pressure.
Mastectomy: Healing At Home
After surgery, your body needs time to recover. You will receive information about helping your body heal and what you can and can’t do. You may also be given a short-term prosthesis to wear during this time. And youll learn what complications to watch for.
Follow-up appointments will also be made so your healthcare provider can check on you as you heal.
In the future, tell all healthcare providers that youve had a mastectomy and on which side. You should not have your blood pressure taken, a blood draw, or IV line on that side.
At Blood Lab I Tell Them Right Away
I keep left arm in coat sleeve to remember to not use…I TELL them only right arm and bad veins….after many attempts they will say lets check YOUR OTHER ARM…i say NO…
during surgeries and colonscopies since my breast surgery exacatly 3 yrs now…I have them put special bright color band on my left wrist and some have NOT on IV pole as well…
Thanks for reply…
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Summary Of The Evidence
The Physical Activity and Lymphedema trial was a prospective randomizedcontrolled study published in 2009 evaluating the effect of progressive strengthtraining on LE development or flare-ups in 295 breast cancer survivors who had undergone axillary surgery . Both patientswith a history of stable LE and those at-risk for LE were included in the study.Showalter et al performed asub-analysis of this study to examine the relationship between potential risk factorexposures and the development of at-risk arm swelling. Patient examination,measurements, and questionnaires were performed at baseline, 3, 6, and 12-monthfollow-up appointments. Water volumetry was used to compare inter-limb volumedifferences and diagnose incident arm swelling. BP measurement in an at-risk arm wasone of 30 potential risk-factor exposures patients were asked about in follow-upquestionnaires. BP cuffmonitoring in the at-risk arm was not significantly associated with incident armswelling . This study concluded that theresults could not support previous recommendations to avoid ipsilateral BPmeasurements after axillary surgery in breast cancer patients.
Standard Risk Reduction Efforts May Not Decrease Incidence Researchers Say
byMike Bassett, Staff Writer, MedPage Today April 21, 2021
Standard limb precautions — such as avoiding blood pressure measurements and venipuncture in the ipsilateral arm — may not decrease the incidence of lymphedema in patients who undergo breast cancer surgery with axillary lymph node dissection or sentinel lymph node biopsy , a researcher reported.
Those broad precautions are being enforced at many institutions despite a lack of high-level evidence supporting these restrictions, stated Julie Ziemann, MS, APRN-CNP, AOCNP, of The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus.
However, Ziemann reported in an e-poster presentation at the Oncology Nursing Society virtual meeting that measuring blood pressure , venipuncture, and vascular access in the ipsilateral arm is likely safe for patients without lymphedema and without any kind of arm injury such as cellulitis or broken skin.
Most institutions will enforce limb restrictions, including measuring BP and venipuncture in the ipsilateral arm, for all patients who have undergone breast cancer surgery, regardless of the type or timing of surgery, they noted.
In addition, Ziemann’s team suggested that adhering to these broad restrictions “can result in delay of care, invasive procedures to establish access, increased risk of infection and VTE , increased healthcare spending, and increased inconvenience to patients.”
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After How Long Is It Safe To Take A Blood Pressure On Someone Who Has Had A Mastectomy
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Breast Cancer: Lymphedema After Treatment
Lymphedema is a problem that may occur after cancer surgery when lymph nodes are removed. Lymphedema can occur months or years after treatment. Its a chronic condition that has no cure. But steps can be taken to help keep it from starting, and to reduce or relieve symptoms. If left untreated, lymphedema can get worse. Getting treatment right away can lower your risk of infections and complications.
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Never Heard That Either
I’m 9 1/2 years out from being first diagnosed. I still tell every nurse and doctor not to use my right arm for BP or needles. They always oblige and have never questioned it.
I still see my oncologist every 6 months and he still tells me to be careful. I still where a compression sleeve when I fly as well. I’d rather be safe than sorry!
Oh, and I too have crappy veins! Sometimes it takes 3 times to draw blood! I’m sure some nurses think I must have been a drug addict at one time! LOL.
I have a bracelet on that arm in case I’m ever unable to tell anyone. Please don’t let them use that arm. There is a reason we’re told that.
Preparing For A Mastectomy
Before having a mastectomy, you will have the opportunity to discuss the operation with a specialist breast care nurse or surgeon. You can discuss how the procedure might affect you physically and emotionally.
You’ll get practical advice about bras and bra inserts, if you need them.
Your surgeon will discuss the type of mastectomy you’ll have, the possible complications and the option of breast reconstruction. You may need to have chemotherapy or hormone therapy before the operation to reduce the size of any tumours.
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Dont Take My Blood Pressure In That Arm
Lymphedema can be a problem worse than a cold rain in spring. Lymphedema is swelling of the arm that can occur after breast cancer surgery and is akin to your kitchen sink sponge soaked with water.
Traditionally, women who have had lymph nodes removed from their armpit, what is known medically as the axilla and the procedure an Axillary Lymph Node Dissection, were at a 40% risk for developing lymphedema.
However, today, most women have a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy as opposed to a full Axillary Lymph Node Dissection, and the risk of lymphedema is only 8%. You would need to ask your surgeon which procedure you had, a Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy or a full Axillary Lymph Node Dissection, before you know what your risk of lymphedema is.
How can you prevent lymphedema? The two biggest risk factors for lymphedema are infection in the arm and obesity.
The first step is to eat a healthy diet, exercise and get your weight down to a body mass index less than 25. The second step is to protect your arm from infection. When you are gardening or walking in the woods, wear a long sleeve shirt, because scratches from plants and bites from insects can lead to infection, which can lead to lymphedema.
Will having your blood pressure done on your arm cause lymphedema? No. Dont worry about having someone take your blood pressure in the affected arm, although again, prudence may dictate that you use the other arm for blood pressure measurement.
May you live long and prosper.
At What Time May Blood Be Drawn And Blood Pressure Taken On The Arm On The Same Side As A Maxcetomy Was Performed
I m a seventy year old man and had a mastectomy performed a year ago. Since that time I have had radiation treatment performed and shortly after that I was found to have peripheral T-Cell lymphoma and am having chemo treatments for that and was found to have shingles during that continuing treatment. Upon completion of the mastecomy I was given printed material by a nurse that tated that I should not have blood drawn, blood pressure taken or any other procedure that would break the skin on the arm on the side that I had the mascetomy. Okay. How long should I avoid punctures and cuffing of that arm.
Thank you for your informative answer.
Thank you for your post and welcome! When you have a mastectomy performed, lymph nodes are removed. Because of this, you must take precaution and inform health care providers about your mastectomy so that blood pressure is not taken and blood is not drawn from that arm. The reason for this is that the lymph nodes protect our body from illnesses and infections and if they are no longer present, taking BP and having blood drawn can cause fluid accumulation and infection. To answer your question, once you have had a mastectomy you can never have blood drawn, shots given, or blood pressure taken from whichever side the mastectomy is on. Always remember to inform your nurses and health team about your mastectomy.
Take Care and Best Wishes!
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Update: Draws From Mastectomy Patients
One of the most commonly asked questions among healthcare professionals with blood collection responsibilities is where do I draw blood from if my patient has had a mastectomy? It’s been a while since Phlebotomy Today addressed this issue, so an update is in order. When the revised venipuncture standard was published last year by CLSI, the section on mastectomy draws had been completely updated with new references and considerations.
The argument for allowing draws from the same side of a prior mastectomy is that lymph-node preservation is given a high priority during mastectomies today more than ever before. Since the risk to patients when lymph nodes are removed is lymphedema and a lessened ability to fight infections, many feel venipunctures ought to be safer when lymph nodes are left intact. Unfortunately, evidence in the scientific literature on the safety of venipunctures performed on today’s mastectomy patient is not conclusive. Besides, how many healthcare professionals who draw blood samples know the details of every patient’s mastectomy? Not many.
Therefore, the rule against drawing from the same side of a prior mastectomy remains hard and fast: physician’s permission is required in writing. The physician is in the best position to know the extent of lymph node removal, not the one drawing the blood.
How Is Lymphedema Diagnosed
There are no tests for lymphedema. Instead, your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and give you a physical exam. Youll be asked about:
Past surgeries youve had
Any problems after your surgeries
When the swelling started
If youve had severe swelling in the past
What medicines youre taking
What other health conditions you have, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes
Imaging tests, measures of volume, blood tests, and other tests may be used to diagnose lymphedema.
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Types Of Mastectomy Procedures
There are several types of mastectomy procedures:
- Total mastectomy. This method removes the whole breast, including the nipple, the colored ring around the nipple , and most of the overlying skin.
- Modified radical mastectomy. The entire breast is removed. This includes the nipple, the areola, the overlying skin, and the lining over the chest muscles. Some of the lymph nodes under the arm are also removed. Breast cancer often spreads to these lymph nodes. It can then spread to other parts of the body. In some cases, part of the chest wall muscle is also removed.
- Radical mastectomy. The entire breast is removed, including the nipple, the areola, the overlying skin, the lymph nodes under the arm, and the chest muscles under the breast. For many years, this was the standard surgery. But today it is rarely done. It may be advised when breast cancer has spread to the chest muscles.
Some newer mastectomy methods may offer more surgery options. But morestudies are needed to see if these methods work as well to fully removebreast cancer or stop from starting or coming back after treatment. Newermethods include:
Why Can’t You Take A Blood Pressure On The Same Side As A Mastectomy
4/5Mastectomybloodblood pressuresame side as a mastectomyabout it here
Blood Pressure: Many organizations, like the American Cancer Society and the National Lymphedema Network, advise survivors to avoid blood pressure on the surgery side, if possible. However, there is not good research to support this recommendation and several studies have found it has no effect on arm swelling.
Secondly, what stage of breast cancer requires a mastectomy? Stage II cancers are treated with either breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. The nearby lymph nodes will also be checked, either with a sentinel lymph node biopsy or an axillary lymph node dissection .
Beside above, where do you draw blood from a patient with a double mastectomy?
Veins left to work with are small and not a phlebotomist’s first choice: the basilic vein or hand veins. In the case of a patient with a double mastectomy, you cannot draw blood from either arm without permission from the ordering physician. Sans approval, do a foot poke.
Can I use deodorant after a mastectomy?
You can use a deodorant if you want . Do not use talcum powder, or soak the wound by lying in the bath, for the first couple of weeks or until after you have seen your doctor at your followup appointment.
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Procedures On Your At Risk Arm
There is not any strong evidence that having injections, taking blood, taking a blood pressure reading or having intravenous fluids in your at risk arm will cause lymphoedema. However, you may prefer to use your other arm.
Speak to your healthcare professional if youre worried about having any of these procedures on your affected side.
Deep tissue massage will encourage more fluid to the treated area so you may want to avoid this on your at risk side. However, many therapists are now trained to work with people who have, or are at risk of, lymphoedema, so check with your therapist.
My Oncologist And Surgeon
My oncologist and surgeon both told me to never have my blood pressure taken or blood drawn, or any type of injections, like a flu shot, from the arm where nodes were removed, and, to always be careful with my arm.
If you ever have surgery again, you should make sure they put a bracelet on that arm instructing everyone to not use that arm for anything. They have bright neon colored bracelets to alert medical staff for this and other things too.
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Using Your At Risk Arm And Regular Exercise
Try to use your arm normally. Youre more likely to increase your risk of lymphoedema by overly protecting your arm and not using it enough.
If youve recently had breast surgery, do the arm and shoulder exercises provided by your treatment team to help your recovery, and gradually return to normal activity.
Exercising the arm regularly can help, and you should be able to return to any sporting activities you did before your surgery. However, if you havent been doing these activities regularly youll need to gradually build up your arm strength. You may need to ask for guidance from your treatment team first.
Unless youre used to regularly lifting heavy loads, ask for help carrying luggage or heavy shopping, or when moving furniture.
Watch When You Get Manicures As Well
My breast surgen also said if you get your nails done DO NOT let them cut your cuticles off and that you should ONLY use your own impliments when you have your nails done.
She also said if I get any kind of cut on the arm / hand that the node biopsy was done on that I am to call to her so she can decide if I should start on any type of meds to fight off possible infection.
Recently it was brought to my attention that if I do any kind of weights that I should wear a compression sleeve as well.
Hope this info helps.
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I Will Not Let Anyone Use My
I will NOT let anyone use my surgery arm! Once in a while a nurse will say, “I never heard of that” to which I respond, “Well you have now”.I was told that once I got lymphadema that it never really goes away. I am so careful that I don’t even pick up anything heavy with that arm.Haven’t flown yet, but when I do I will wear a sleeve.Hugs,
Here’s the web address to an article from Lymphnet.org that discusses flying: