Lymphedema Resources



We now carry an array of mastectomy products, breast prosthetics, and lymphedema sleeves. For more information on the products, please contact us.


Lymphedema Resources

BC Lymphedema Association

Canadian Lymphedema Framework

Lymphedema: BC Cancer Agency

Lymphovenous Canada

Lymphology Association of North America


We are fully PharmaCare certified and able to determine eligibility for BC residents on site. Those with lymphedema as a result of breast cancer are eligible for up to two compression sleeves per year, eligibility is based on a yearly household deductible.

Click here for more information.

Fair PharmaCare Plan Info Sheet

Lymphedema FAQ’s

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is an abnormal build-up of lymph fluid that can occur in various body parts resulting in swelling and may be accompanied by numbness and discomfort. Lymph fluid normally drains into lymph vessels which carry the fluid to lymph nodes where substances such as bacteria are filtered out to protect the body from infection. There are lymph nodes located all around the body, including the armpit, groin, stomach, chest, and neck.

What Causes Lymphedema?

During treatment for breast cancer, lymph nodes may be removed from the armpit or breast region by surgery or damaged by radiation therapy. This can stop the lymph from flowing freely and can cause fluid build up in those areas, which left untreated can be difficult to control. Lymphedema can develop months or even years after treatment for breast cancer and typically comes on gradually.

How Common Is It To Develop Lymphedema?

The exact number of people who develop lymphedema after breast cancer treatment is unknown, but estimates vary from one in three to one in ten (approximately 10-40%). The risk seems to be greater for individuals who have had multiple lymph nodes removed and for those who have had both surgery and radiation therapy to the arm pit region.

Signs & Symptoms?

  • A feeling of heaviness, tightness or tension in the arm or breast
  • Swelling of the arm, breast or hand
  • Discomfort in the hand, chest, arm or breast area
  • Skin that feels warmer than usual
  • Tingling in the arm or hand

How do I Reduce My Risk?

In order to reduce the risk of developing lymphedema, there are a few guidelines to follow.

First, it is important to keep skin in the affected area healthy to reduce the risk of infection from cuts, insect bites or burns. Infection causes the body to make excess lymph fluid to fight the infection, which leads to more swelling.

Second, avoid activities that overheat the affected area as this causes the lymphatic system to produce more fluid. Examples include sunburns on the arm or breast, saunas, or hot showers. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight to reduce the risk.

Third, avoid wearing poorly fitted bras or tight clothing as these slow or halt lymph fluid fl0w back to the body. Also minimize taking blood pressure readings of the affected arm.

How do I manage my Lymphedema?

Lymphedema can usually be controlled by following a few simple guidelines.

  1. Arm Elevation
    If you have any arm swelling or infection, the elbow and hand should be kept in a resting elevated position above the shoulder and heart. This eases the drainage of lymph fluid from the affected arm back into circulation.
  2. Mild Exercise
    Contracting muscles around the filled lymphatic channels helps to push fluid up and out of the arm area. Flexibility exercises, arm stretches, light weight lifting and swimming are all beneficial.
  3. Sleeves and Bandages
    Compression sleeves, which are elasticized sleeves customized to fit your arm, can be used on their own or in combination with manual lymphatic drainage pumps. The sleeves are designed to exert a specific amount of pressure on the limb and aid in fluid movement.
  4. Drainage Pumps
    There are a couple of options: manual lymphatic drainage and pneumatic air driven pumps. Manual lymphatic drainage is a form of gentle message that involves stimulating the skin and underlying lymph tissue by massaging in light circular movements. With pneumatic pumps your arm is put into a full length sleeve.