Leg Swelling

Hey Guys,

I'm 6.5 weeks post vaginal trachelectomy with pelvic lymph node removal.

If I'm just pottering around the house or supermarket etc I have no issue with swelling but if I walk or sit upright at a dining table for a number of hours I've noticed that my left leg (mainly the upper thigh) starts to swell.

I took my friend out for lunch for her birthday yesterday and was sat upright from 12:30 to 5 when I suddenly became aware of a pulsating throb in my entire left leg. I got home and found the inside of my left thigh was fluidy....not huge by any stretch but enough to worry me. I put my stockings on and elevated it for the whole evening and it's reduced by this morning but still there a little.

My concern is this....is this just something to be expected so soon after surgery or is it likely that this wil be an issue going forwards (especially as it only seems that one leg is doing it!)

When I go back to work I'm going to be on my feet all day and it's a very physical job so I'm worried about the risk of making this a permanent fixture/chronic :(

Any personal experiences of swelling legs post trachelectomy (or hysterectomy) would be welcome :)

I've got my first follow up with the consultant on the 6th August.

Thanks dudes:) Sarah xx

Hi there. I haven't had any leg swelling but did have some pelvic swelling about 1o weeks post op. You are still healing so swelling could just be part and parcel of that. But it could also be a bit of lymphedema. If I was you I would contact your CNS and tell her your symptoms.  They may want to take a look and refer you to a lymphedema clinic for monitoring. my pelvic swelling still happens every couple of months if I over exert myself (last time was when I was moving house and lugging boxes for 2 days.) in my case, because it is so minor and infrequent, and as it is only in the pelvic area and not in the leg, they don't think I need treatment yet. However from what I've read and been told, lymphedema should be treated as quickly as possible so that it can be managed, so I'd definitely ring the hospital Just to be safe.  

to manage mine (and hopefully prevent more problems) I have also found a local lady specialised in lymphatic flow massage. I try and have this every couple of weeks when possible, just to help lymph flow freely.  It's also really relaxing and she taught me some at home massage. You can also google 'simple lymph massage' and find videos which will show you how to stimulate your lymph flow in your neck, which acts as a 'vacuum' for the rest of the system - this may help next time you get swelling.

i hope my ramblings have helped a little, I didn't want to just read and run. Xxx

By your description of it being fluidy, sounds like it could be lymphoedema. As said above, I would contact your CNS.

Thanks for the messages guys :) 

I will give my CNS a call and see what she says. I'm really worried about it....it seems to be down to my knee now and I've been doing some massage and I've had my legs elevated and stockinged and it's got no better.....Poxy side effects!! 

Sarah xx

Definitely insist that they see you and tell them you want to be refferred to a clinic. I wouldn't be fobbed off.  They can get it under control if it's caugth early.  Hope it's all just part and parcel of the healing and nothing long lasting.  Let us know how you get on.  xxxx

Hey everyone, 

So I saw my consultant and CNS today for the first time post op....they said there was no need to do an internal examination as a Dr saw me a couple of weeks post op when I was admitted with excessive bleeding....I kinda wanted him to have another look just to check on things but I suppose theres no point prodding around up there if it's unnecessary! 

With regards my leg swelling they said it looks like it could be the beginnings of lymphedema but they weren't 100% so they're referring me to the lymphedema clinic....unfortunately it's a long waiting list :( I'm going to try and find a specialist physiotherapists locally in the mean time and start gentle swimming to see if this helps with the external pressure! My consultant said approx 1 in 5 get lymphedema post op.

Fingers crossed my legs will settle on their own but I'm taking no chances! I'm looking forward to getting in the pool tomorrow after months of zero exercise :)!

sarah xxx

Well I'm glad you've had a referral to clinic. Hopefully they won't keep you waiting too long. I'm a bit worried myself this morning as think my leg is slightly swollen and yesterday noticed a couple of dimples that I thought was new cellulite but this morning my mind is working overdrive! Ah well, what will be, will be. Good luck with your ongoing recovery x

Hey Blackberry ....they said if I've not heard anything by the second week in September to ring them....it's ridiculous having to wait so long! I really hope you're legs are fine hon...fingers crossed :)