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Lymph node removal, COVID-19 & immune system

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Lymph node removal, COVID-19 & immune system


I've seen discussions elsewhere about being immunocomprimised if you've had lymph nodes removed. I had my RH in 2018 and had all pelvic nodes removed, 22 of them. Is this something we should be worried about at the moment or does your lymphatic system cope fine with fewer nodes? Just curious as I want to keep healthy as working from home isn't an option for me, I'm NHS.

Thanks ladies 


16th May 2018 - routine smear test

26th May 2018 - call from GP to say abnormal, potentially malignant cells found

4th June 2018 - Colposcopy

11th June 2018 - Cervical cancer confirmed & referred to The Royal Marsden

CT & MRI scans

19th June 2018 - Confirmed adenocarcinoma tumour

26th June 2018 - confirmed stage 1b1, no HPV

11th July 2018 - robotic laparoscopic radical hysterectomy

31st July 2018 - results back, no cancer detected in lymph nodes!  3 monthly follow ups


Petesdragon's picture

I had mine removed in 1997. Although I have lymphodoema I have never been prone to additional infections. I think my immune system is quite normal. I hope that reassures.

Karen x 

    • Stage 3 Glassy cell adenocarcinoma  1997 (negative smear tests).

Treated with Wertheim's hysterectomy, chemorads.

October 2017- new squamous cell vaginal tumour diagnosed,  probably radiation-induced. 

Total pelvic exenteration on 19th December 2017. 

March 18 Post-op CT scan shows healthy kidneys and successful urostomy and colostomy. No evidence of recurrence. Discharged by urology and colorectal surgeons. 2 down and 2 to go!

June 2018. CT scan shows 2 new pulmonary nodules.  

CT Scan Jan 2019. Nodules gone. No evidence of disease. 

Jazza's picture


Pelvic lymph node removal can increase your risk for cellulitis in the legs, especially if lymphoedema develops.  So it's important to have a good skin care routine e.g. antiseptic and plasters for bites, scratches etc.  But I don't think the risk for respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19, is increased.

I think the following link is helpful:



  • Feb 04:  (age 47y) Smear test normal
  • Stopped going for smears!
  • Summer 16: persistent watery yellow vaginal discharge
  • Dec 16: post menopausal vaginal bleed
  • Jan 17: Hysteroscopy under GA for ?fibroids - abnormal cervix observed -multiple biopsies taken, 1B1  squamous  cell cc diagnosed - confirmed by MRI/PET scans
  • Feb 17: pelvic lymphadenectomy - nodes negative, Da Vinci radical hysterectomy- close anterior margin/LVSI/PNI, restaged to 2A
  • Apr/May 17: 6x chemo, 25x external radio, 2x brachy
  • Jul 19:  NED.  Various side effects notably hypotonic bladder since hysterectomy - ongoing ISC, unilateral lymphoedema lower abdo/groin/leg/ankle/foot

I had  a RH, 33 lymph nodes removed, radiochem, and brachy. The treatment finished in June 2019. I too am NHS. 

I returned to work a few weeks post treatment, but took some time off a few weeks before covid-19 hit. 

My GP has listed me as at 'severe risk' -  because of my fatigue and CIBH. My CNS has told me that my immunity is 'stable, but still recovering'. 

....have you spoken to your oncologist?



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