LVA surgery

Morning everyone. I’m having LVA surgery on my arm next week. Does anyone who’s had the surgery have any tips on recovery. Also how long did it take before you noticed any improvement.

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Where are you having the surgery?

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On my right arm. It is currently 18 - 20% bigger than my other arm.

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Sorry, I have just realised what you meant! It will be done at the Oxford Lymphoedema Practice.

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If you can see the search box (top right of the screen on a desktop/laptop) put LVA into the box and click enter - a number of people have had the procedure, or are waiting results to see if they are eligible (not everyone is).

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Hi, I had LVA on both legs 4 weeks ago at oxford. I’ve found the recovery to be ok. I took pain relief (paracetamol, ibuprofin) for 3 or 4 days after but didn’t need it after that. The biggest challenge is resting with your limb elevated for so long even when you feel well enough to be back to normal!

The surgeons at oxford were really lovely and will give you all of the advice that you need for aftercare and Kate is really helpful too.

In terms of results I think it’s probably too early to say for me and everyone is different but I think for me it is easier to manage now. My swelling has always been mild and gotten worse as the day goes on but with compression and self massage it was well controlled. I still get swelling but I think not as bad in my legs and it goes overnight without the need for massage so I would say an improvement.

Good luck for your op!

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Ps the antibiotics gave me really bad indigestion so stock up with some light meals!

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Thanks for this. My Lymphoedema is moderate and I find the weight of my arm hard to bear. I’m excited about the op but I don’t want to get my hopes up too much. I’ll report back next week on how it went.

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Hello Angelil, how are you legs now, my swelling had gone from 7% to 12% at my 3 month check, not sure why it had gone up, I am massaging loads more now and hoping when I go back in another 3 months it will be down, I certainly hope it doesn't go up, I think legs are more complicated than arms. hope you are still having good results,. xxx

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Hello there

I haven’t had my legs remeasured yet but as my swelling was mild before the op i’m not expecting a massive change (I wouldn’t be surprised if my measurements went up due to increased body mass after Christmas and then taking things easy after the surgery in January!!!) What I am finding is that i dont need to massage every day (I used to massage twice a day for about an hour in total) as the swelling tends to go down over night without too much intervention.

Hopefully your increase will only be temporary. I don’t know about you but my swelling can change slightly on a daily basis anyway depending how active i’ve been, diet, the weather etc so it may be that you had a slight fluctuation when they took your measurements as 5% difference isn’t too big so please don’t be too disappointed. Also it can take months even years to see the full effects so maybe you will see improvements in the future. What did the surgeons say?

Xxx

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Thank you so much for an amazing reply, I think you are right, I have put on weight as wasn't doing much, maybe that is the reason, also I think long term the effects will be more beneficial as it will stop this from getting worse, they were a bit bemused but the machine was playing up a bit, I am hoping for better result when I next go, I will try and lose the stone I have put on, thank you so much for the positive advice really appreciate this good luck when you go back, xxx

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No problem xxx

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Hi, i had LVA on my left arm in Chicago last July. My surgeon wants patients asleep and muscles parylised for a he surgery so you are really lucky that you can have it awake. The hardest part was recovering from the anesthesia. He also want no aerobic type of exercise or lifting of anything over 10 lbs and arm wrapped for 1 month. I’m not sure if other surgeons are so strict but my outcome has been like a cure so his strict policy might be good. There was some strong “pinching” sensations on some of the incisions occasionally for the first couple of weeks.

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Hi, I had the LVA on my left leg on November 7th last year, I really feel mine has worked, I do hope yours does, they are really successful with arms, not done too many legs, but I'm hopefull I go on February 6th I am excited to see if its reduced , as I am typing I don't have a stocking on and before my Lva I felt it swelling even after half hour off, now it doesn't, I still wear my stocking all day and massage myself, but am hoping to go without it after ive seen them for short periods, good luck , the recovery is really easy, its not painful , I was really scared but shouldn't have been, I had a general as thought I was less trouble asleep hehee. I am now back to running and riding my horse Davina workouts, that all happened 6 weeks after surgery, I found not doing anything hard, but it was really onlyu for the first couple of weeks. until stitches were out then I moved about more. you will be fine, don't lift though for a while, enjoy taking it easy. let us know how you get on,

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I had the LVA procedure on my left arm in Oxford last July for secondary lymphoedema. I had 2 weeks off work and kept the arm elevated as much as possible. I did the massage I was shown when I thought about it and I didn't lift anything heavier than a shoe for a few weeks. I agree with the comment above that the hardest part was resting the arm when it felt absolutely fine.

You will be told exactly what you should do after your op. The whole team are great and I found them happy to answer any queries. I went back into light compression after about 10 days, and back into my usual compression at around 3 weeks.

At the 3 month check the difference between my arms had reduced from around 10% to 3% so I started occasionally leaving the compression off. At my appointment in January there was no difference in volume, although still some swelling on the back of my hand but it is now soft and not fibrous as it was before. Strangely I've found that lying on the floor with my legs on the sofa ( to ease an unrelated back problem) reduces the swelling in my hand. The stiffness in my fingers has gone and so has the toothache type pain in my arm. I get a tingling sensation sometimes, but that's all.

I still wear my compression sleeve and glove but am gradually increasing the time I don't wear it but carefully monitor my arm size by measuring it everyday. So far, so good.

As for the op, it was absolutely fine, a lot more comfortable than having dental work done! I took painkillers for a few days after but then didn't need them.

Wishing you the best of luck with your procedure and just remember to take things slowly and don't be tempted to ignore the instructions you will be given or do too much too soon. 🙂

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The surgery went well although it was hard lying still for three hours with my arm stretched out in an uncomfortable position. I have four incisions. Two near my wrist and two further up my forearm. I have been instructed not to lift anything heavier than a kettle for four weeks. Also I have to massage towards the scars but not over them several times a day and to keep the arm elevated as much as possible. No compression for a week and then back into my sleeve but a Class 1 rather than 2 for a couple of weeks.

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Good to hear. Keep us posted with updates during your recovery. You may not see 'instant' results, but then one day notice that lots has happened and the arm has changed! Exciting times!

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