Excessive build up of fluid after surgery

Hi, I recently underwent a lumpectomy and lymph node removal on 16th April, due to go back tomorrow to find out what the next step in my treatment is, Radiotherapy, Chemo or both?. I came home following day surgery with a drain attached and during the 5 days it was attached drained a lot of fluid. I had to go back to hospital 2 days ago and have a further 250ml of fluid removed and I can already feel that the fluid has one again accumulated, hopefully this will get removed tomorrow. Question is how long will I be experiencing this build up of fluid, does it ever go away, can’t face the constant 70 mile round trip to keep getting it drained!  THanks

I had the same - drained twice and I thought it would never go - but it did after 2 attempts - last one with ultra sound which meant they were more accurate. So 2 weeks after the initial drain. It will go - though I know it feels like it won’t! Fingers crossed for you xx

Hi Did7855

Welcome to the BCC forums where I am sure the support will be a big help, in addition, our helpliners are on hand for any queries or concerns you may have on 0808 800 6000, lines are open 9-5 during the week and 10-2 Saturdays so please feel free to call

Here’s a link to further post surgery information which may also help:


Take care
Lucy BCC

I had masectomy and node removal last September. My drain got pulled out by accident on about day 10 and I had huge fluid build up. I went back nearly daily for about 2 weeks and also had guided drainage under ultra sound. It suddenly stopped. I can imagine the hospital trips are wearing you out, I’m going to have a similar daily journey for 3 weeks of rads soon!

Good news did. Has your wound healed?

I am 5 weeks post mastectomy and 6 visits for drainage with 2.5 litres already drained.I am assured this will get less but feel fed up as it is quite sore under the pressure. I have 6 cycles of chemo to go through and then radiotherapy so feel that this is just the beginning. Have had a look at the wigs on offer and upset at the moment. Fed up of people saying how well I look ! Sorry about the moan but surely not on my own with this?


Joyce, I feel your pain and frustration. Hopefully it’ll stop soon, I know mine just suddenly stopped. Have you looked into cold capping during Chemo? I used it very successfully for 14 sessions, my hair thinned but keeping it in a ponytail hid the worst of it and now 7 weeks or so post Chemo it looks OK. (Not back to normal, but don’t need a wig.)

I’ve just had expander implant reconstruction and will start radio in a few weeks - so keep going, I promise there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Absolutely Kaya, once youve got through the first 10 mins it’s fine. I survived 14 sessions and towards the end I had to ask my nurse if it was still working as it didn’t feel cold!

I always took strong painkillers half an hour before and usually needed a blanket or hot water bottle for the last hour.