Cochise Oncology

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How Long Can Fluid Retention Last After Chemotherapy?

Have you been dealing with fluid retention since undergoing chemotherapy for cancer? Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a side effect of certain chemotherapy drugs. Edema is the build-up of fluid in the tissues and often occurs in the extremities like the legs and feet. 

When you undergo chemotherapy at Cochise Oncology, we will let you know if your chemotherapy drugs are likely to cause fluid retention and other side effects

Chemotherapy Tucson

Fluid Retention After Chemotherapy 

Chemotherapy or chemo is an effective cancer treatment because it destroys the fast-growing cancer cells. However, chemotherapy also affects healthy cells and can lead to various side effects including nausea and vomiting, hair loss, constipation, loss of appetite, and fluid retention. 

Fluid retention may be accompanied by other side effects such as weight gain and shortness of breath. It can also cause your skin to feel tight and become puffy and shiny, and reduce the flexibility of the joints in the arms and legs. 

How Long Can Fluid Retention Last After Chemotherapy? 

Fluid retention after chemotherapy is usually mild and tends to go away once treatment ends. However, if puffiness or swelling persists after chemotherapy it’s important to let our staff know so that we can help you manage the condition.


Simply fill out the form on this page to request an appointment and one of our knowledgable team members will reach out to you. Or call our Sierra Vista oncology center to schedule directly at (520) 803-6644.

Managing Fluid Retention After Chemotherapy 

The following tips can help you manage fluid retention after chemotherapy:

  • Avoid tight clothing. Wearing loose clothing will make you feel comfortable and help to improve circulation.  
  • Reduce intake of salty foods. Eating foods high in salt can cause your body to retain fluid.
  • Elevate the affected area. This will minimize the flow of fluid into the area.
  • Exercise. Moving the part of your body impacted by edema will help blood flow and improve circulation.
  • Wear compression stockings. Compression stockings generate pressure which helps to reduce the build-up of fluid in the tissues and reduce swelling.   

Some patients may need physical therapy or occupational therapy to relieve edema. If your fluid retention is severe, we may have to prescribe medication, specifically a diuretic, which will help remove the excess fluid and salt from your body. These medications should be taken as prescribed.


*Individual Results May Vary


At Cochise Oncology, we know optimal cancer treatment places the patient first – and our patients experience this every day. Read what our satisfied patients are saying about their experiences at Cochise Oncology.

Take the Next Step

Would you like to learn more about fluid retention after chemotherapy? Reach out to Cochise Oncology at (520) 803-6644 or fill out the consultation form on this page. We look forward to meeting you!

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