Axillary web syndrome (AWS), also known as cording, can occur as side effect of breast cancer surgery – usually when surgery has been performed on the lymph nodes of the axilla (armpit). The cord is a thick, rope-like structure under the skin that can limit the movement of the arm. Until now, we haven’t known what they were. We recently reported an unusual case of primary cutaneous tuberculosis of the thumb following a needlestick injury. The infection caused lymphatic dysfunction which we visualized with near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) lymphatic imaging – including the patients axillary web syndrome. The cord was a lymphatic vessel. If you are a therapist who treats patients with lymphedema or a physician who treats breast cancer patients, you will want to read the PDF of the article below, which includes NIRF imaging.