does anyone know if lymphoedema can cause poor circula... - LSN


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does anyone know if lymphoedema can cause poor circulation in affected limb?

butiinside profile image

I have been fitted with a sleeve for my left arm.

Tried it on yesterday but I had to give up after an hour, as my fingers and thumb were turning blue and starting to feel numb. Even without the sleeve sometimes I am still blue on that side.

10 Replies

I have Lymphoedema in my left leg for 8 years and have had poor circulation in my leg ever since. I find moving my leg every few minutes helps. I spoke with others at a support group I attended 5 years ago who had the same issue. Hope this helps and good luck

Contact your clinic today and tell them what is happening. Is this your first garment?

You were most definitely incorrectly fitted...tell me about it !! I gave up on such stuff in the end as compression garments did nothing for me except cause trouble. MUCH BETTER TO APPLY DAILY MASSAGE AFTEER RECEIVING APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTION. YES, OF COURSE YOUR CIRCULATION WILL BE AFFECTED. EXERCISE IS ESSENTIAL AS LONG AS IT IS NOT BEYOND THE POINT OF TIREDNESS. Love Jackie

Definitely get those garments checked. Excercise is a really helpful and an important part of your lymphoedema management if you can do it; however, as you create additonal lymph flow during exercise it really is important to wear compression garments during exercise. Pushkin is right though, badly fitted garments are a complete nightmare but don't give up on them yet as there is a wide range on the market. Admittedly not all available through the good old NHS though... NNE

I was shown some simple exercises for my arm which might be of help wirh the blood circulation. But if a sleeve makes your fingers numb, it means it is too tight.

Ask a lymphoedema nurse to show you what exercises to do so that your blood will flow as normally as possible. Also check that your normal sleeves are not too tight on the affected arm.

Hope you feel better.

LymphSuppNetwork profile image

Hi, quoting from the LSN fact sheet 'the use of compression garments in lymphoedema management' 'remove hosiery at once if your fingers/toes become discoloured (white/blue/purple/mottled); you experience pins and needles or a loss of sensation in the affected limb/hand/foot; if the garment is too tight and painful; if you affected limb becomes red/inflamed or suddenly increases in size. In the event of any of the above - remove the garment and seek advice from the person who supplied it' - hope this helps!

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If this is the first sleeve you have had fitted you must definitely go back to the clinic and get it checked as I imagine it is far too tight. I got through about 6 or 7 different sleeves before I found the right one, you just have to keep going back to the clinic until they get it right. You may find as I do that part of your arm is slightly numb due to the nerve damage from the surgery but do check this out either with the Lymphoedema clinic or your surgeon or Breast Care Nurse. Your fingers should certainly not be going blue so it needs sorting. Hope this helps.

Hi. I've been experimenting with compression sleeves on my affected arm for the past 18mnths and only recently have we (my Nurse specialist and myself) managed to settle on one that fits correctly and helps with the condition. I too have had numb fingers and blue fingers and white fingers in the past and my Nurse advises to remove the garment immediately to prevent further damage. We then start over again with measurements and different types of compression sleeve. You DO need to see whoever measured you for your current garment and explain the problem. Hope this helps.

Hi I also suggest that your sleeve is too tight/not fitting correctly! Good luck with tracking down correct size/pressure garment for you.

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Was it made to measure ?

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