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How likely am I to develop lymphedema after surgery?

Studies have found that the greater the number of lymph nodes removed, the greater the risk of developing lymphedema. Standard lymph node removal involves removal of level 1 and level 2 nodes, which may average 15-20 nodes. For many women, sentinel node biopsy may be the only procedure needed, which has a risk of less than 5% for leading to visible lymphedema.

Continue Learning about Immune System

Immune System

Immune System

Immune and lymphatic system health is necessary for protecting your body from germs and diseases. Known as the body's first line of defense, your immune system and lymphatic system help protect you from bacteria, viruses and fungi ...

that cause disease. Your lymphatic system produces and carries white blood cells containing antibodies that fight off infection. Your lymphatic system transports and destroys dead or damaged cells and cancer cells, removing these substances from the blood stream. Problems with your immune and lymphatic system can result in various diseases. A weakened immune system can lead to diseases including cancer, the flu and chronic fatigue syndrome. An overactive immune system can lead to diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), Huntingdon's disease and lupus. Allergies occur when your immune system mistakes harmless substances for threats and attacks these harmless substances.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.