Lymphedema in women undergoing breast cancer surgery

  • Priscila Lara Vieira Bonisson Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Mei Rosemary Fu Universidade de Nova Yorque
  • Selme Silqueira Matos Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Giovana Paula Rezende Simino
  • Elenice Ribeiro de Paula Lima
  • Flávia Falci Ercole Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Keywords: Breast Neoplasms, Mastectomy, Lymphedema, Lymph Node Excision, Nursing.


Objective: to estimate the prevalence and to identify possible factors associated with the occurrence of lymphedema in women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Methods: a prevalence study with 125 women. An interview and a consultation of the medical record were carried out using a questionnaire. Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed through logistic regression. Results: a prevalence rate of 34.4% was found. Obesity, sentinel lymph node biopsy, radiotherapy, and the presence of some treatment complications were statistically significant for the occurrence of lymphedema. Conclusion: the prevalence of lymphedema in this study was high. The variables positively related to lymphedema, considered as associated factors, were: obesity, sentinel lymph node biopsy, radiotherapy and some treatment related complications (adhesion,retraction, paraesthesia, seroma, fibrosis, infection and dehiscence).