What is included in postoperative care of lymphedema?

Updated: Mar 24, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Postoperatively, the extremity is immobilized in a splint and elevated; the patient is placed on strict bed rest.

Antibiotics may be continued until drain removal, according to surgeon preference. Drains are typically removed at 5-7 days postoperatively, as dictated by a decrease in drain output. Sutures are removed at 10-14 days and replaced by Steri-Strips.

The patient should be measured for a new compression garment when the new dimensions of the extremity have stabilized. After approximately 10 days, the patient may gradually begin dependency on the extremity with compression bandages or an elastic garment in place.


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