As all patients who have had lymph nodes removed know, circulation is generally worse after the loss of nodes: swelling, serious edema, and the need for medical procedures to remove fluids are all part of the aftermath of these procedures.
I am not in a position to evaluate the merits of the surgical measures. I merely sympathize with the suffering of the patients. They often have reddish swelling, intense itching, rashes, and loss of motion.
There are specialists in manual lymphatic drainage, a very delicate massage technique taught in Austria (called the Vodder method) who are trained to help reroute lymph flow so as to by-pass the normal channels, the ones that have been removed.
Though people who are specialists in this method are reluctant to state opinions, many have theorized that when malignancy is found in the lymph that the lymph nodes are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. In other words, it is not 100% clear to them that the cancer has metastasized, merely that it has accumulated in the lymph.
Given that we do not understand these fine points well enough to be certain, it would seem appropriate that patients who have not yet had surgery try to move as much lymph through the body as possible to see if the swelling subsides. For those who feel they are at risk for cancer, periodic lymphatic stimulation and/or drainage may be a healthy preventative measure. Once, however, the nodes are gone, it is more uphill.
One very simple but probably only minimally helpful exercise is to hold the affected (swollen) area upwards to see if gravity will permit some of the lymph to descend into areas that still have adequate drainage.
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