The Oscar-winner – who also battled ovarian cancer 14 years ago – has said that she does not want to return to the operating table again.
The 69-year-old has breast prostheses but only wears them if she is required to for a film role.
The body's lymphatic system transports a clear watery fluid called lymph, which contains infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.When this fluid doesn't drain normally - which can occur when lymph nodes are removed or damaged after cancer surgery – swelling can happen.As many as 10 million people suffer from lymphedema in the US alone.There's no cure for lymphedema, but congestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) can control systems.DLT includes compression bandages, skin care, exercises and specialised massage techniques.
Kathy said she felt 'like a boa constrictor' with her arms in the tight sleeves, which she had to use twice a week.
She said her “loving and supportive” partner, the actor Brad Pitt, had been by her side while she underwent three months of operations earlier this year to remove breast tissue and replace it with implants.
The Oscar-winning actress, who has six children with Pitt, three of them adopted, made the difficult decision to have surgery after doctors told her that her faulty gene, known as BRCA1, meant she had an 87 per cent risk of developing breast cancer and a 50 per cent risk of ovarian cancer.
Despite the fact that this type of surgery is becoming more commonplace, it is major surgery and this fact should never be downplayed.
As with most things, even the awful stuff, it’s sometimes helpful to get the advice and perspectives from someone who’s been there.
She has also spoken out about the need for doctors to be better educted about lymphedema.