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Patient History - The inspiration for the survey
We were recently sent the following history and subsequent question. There is very little information available to answer this question. I think this is an important question, especially as more women are asking their doctors about lymphedema.

The letter to us read: (name withheld per request)
A patient with bilateral mastectomy (1982 & 1987) and no reconstruction, with left arm/hand lymphedema (wearing a ReidSleeveŽ at night) that has become mild, and minor (if any) lymphedema in right arm (no treatment), what are the risks of the various kinds of breast reconstruction vis-ā-vis aggravating lymphedema. The left arm/hand lymphedema began in 1992 (10 years post mastectomy, after a plane flight), and originally she wore ill-fitting Jobst sleeve/gauntlet and battled swollen, achy, painful lymphedem a (never described as anything but "Stage 1+", but painful and scary nevertheless). During surgery, 25 lymph nodes were removed from left axilla; 12 were removed from right (all benign, but she had chemotherapy due to tumor size/pathology).

The ReidSleeveŽ brought the best relief/result, but the problem has been chronic, and we do not have anyone in St. Louis very qualified to treat lymphedema. So, the control of lymphedema has been HARD WON, and not something she wants to disturb. But breast reconstruction is something she would love to have.

Statement of confidentiality: All information in this survey will be used as statistical data only. Any information that identifies an individual person will not be disclosed without prior written approval from the provider.

Instructions: Please answer each question based on the standard answers to the best of your ability. If the question does not apply please proceed to the next question.

Age of onset:

Age of diagnosis:

Cause of Lymphedema:

When was the reconstruction done:

What type of reconstruction did you have:

What were the effects of the reconstruction on your lymphedema:

What were your feelings at the time of the reconstruction:

What are your feelings now:

Before your reconstruction what did you consider your lymphedema:
None     Mild     Moderate     Severe
After reconstruction:
None     Mild     Moderate     Severe
Are you currently receiving treatment for Lymphedema?

Have you had any infections? Yes     No

If you had any infections, how many: 1-3     4-7     8-10     Greater then 10

Which limbs are affected by Lymphedema:
Arm     Leg     Both Arms     Both Legs
What are the measurements of the affected limb(s):
Left  / Right   Left  / Right   
Wrist Ankle
Forearm Calf
Upper arm Thigh

What are the measurements of the unaffected limb:
Left  / Right   Left  / Right   
Wrist Ankle
Forearm Calf
Upper arm Thigh

Have you learned anything about Lymphedema that you think will help others who suffer from Lymphedema?
Please Explain: