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DR MED MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 2407
Experience:  MD
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breast ultrasound today showed an axillary lymph node

Resolved Question:

I had an elective breast reduction done six weeks ago and am feeling pretty good. A breast ultrasound today showed an axillary lymph node enlarged to 9 mm in an area where the surgical bra cut deeply into my skin. I also had axillary excision in this area as part of the breast reduction procedure.

The dr. said he was not concerned at this time about the enlarged node but that he wants to see me again in 3 mos for a followup.

My question is: Is it normal or common to have an enlarged node in an area of surgery six weeks after the procedure? Is there something my dr. is not telling me? What is the likelihood that this will resolve with time?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DR MED MD replied 5 years ago.
Was there any enlarged lymph nodes before surgery?

Have you done any imaging investigation for lymph node i.e sonogram or mammography?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No. I had a mammogram and two manual breast exams prior to surgery and all were normal. I do self-exams monthly and never felt this prior to the surgery and the very tight bra band that cut through the middle of my armpit.
Expert:  DR MED MD replied 5 years ago.
Did ultrasound mentioned any details about enlarged node?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The mammogram did not mention it, nothing was felt on manual exam prior to surgery.

The ultrasound I had done today showed it, though.

Prior to this, I had a breast ultrasound done in September 2010 and it was all normal.

Expert:  DR MED MD replied 5 years ago.
This node is probably benign lymph node.

Benign nodes on imaging i.e ultrasound have maintained central fatty hilum and oval shape and usually less that 1 cm.

Your doctor is right to follow it and examine you in three months to see changes in node.

Lymph node enlargement commonly result from infection / immune response, cancer and less commonly due to infiltration of macrophages.

Nodes are generally considered to be normal if they are up to 1 cm in diameter.

If there was any doubt your doctor would have sent you for an FNAC i.e fine needle aspiration of lymph node.

No need to worry about.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
thank you for your answers. So to clarify, could the surgical trauma in that area along with the temporary cut-off of circulation to those tissues cause the node to enlarge and still be that way 6 weeks later?

Expert:  DR MED MD replied 5 years ago.
yes that can be cause or other cause be infection.

Node can remain enlarged for longer duration.

Follow up is required to look how they behave in future.

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