Thanks for posting.
Your dominant arm can often show as having a slightly higher volume differential (up to 10%). A 20% differential would usually mean some oedema in the arm, and it’s good that your arm has responded so well to wearing your sleeve, doing exercises and breathing.
Early lymphoedema, managed immediately, can often respond so well, that you’ll only need maintenance therapy and you may not have to wear your sleeve all the time. You can discuss this with your lymphoedema nurse at your next appointment.
It’s not possible to say, whether your swelling was because you were postoperative or whether you developed an early form of lymphoedema. However, having an ache and discomfort for days may well indicate that this is the cause. If you find that your swelling increases again when you remove your sleeve, than you’ll know that you have lymphoedema.
You may find it useful to view the Lymphoedema Support management videos on You tube.
You could also try and speak to your specialist team about the pain that you are experiencing. Temporary damage to minor nerves which normally settles soon after surgery, can continue is some people for longer. Our booklet might be helpful for you to read.
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Breast Cancer Care Nurse
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I had a single mastectomy last February (2017) with 3 lymph nodes removed at the same time. 3 months later, I was diagnosed with lymphodema in my arm, as there was 20% size difference between my arms. Since then, Ive worn my sleeve most days, have been doing my exercises, breathing etc. I had my 3rd visit to the lymphodema clinic today since initial diagnosis. This is the third time my affected arm has measured 1 or 2% smaller than my other arm, even though its my dominant arm. The nurse now says I may have been misdiagnosed as my initial diagnosis was given 2 weeks after a subsequent operation on my breast. However, I still get pain in my arm, like an ache. It isnt there constantly, but it can stay for days when it does appear. This arm can also be quite weak at times. If it isnt lymphodema, what could be causing these symptoms?