Haematoma - is surgery required?


One of my relatives was recently diagnosed with a haematoma in her breast. Ultrasound scan results show it as “probably benign”. Doctor suggested antibiotic along with a pain-killer for sometime and left it to the body to heal itself. Reddish portion of haematoma has healed a little during last 3 weeks. However, today when she consulted doctor, it was observed that the skin covering haematoma has thinned down and their is a possibility of liquid coming out.

So, doctor is suggesting a minimal cut to take out haematoma. We are really worried now as any invasive surgery can lead to complications. I would really appreciate if you can share your experiences, if any, as well as suggestions.


hi there,had a haematoma last year after my operation,hospital just drained it with needle had to go back few times
but didnt feel anything.did squeeze my sisters hand so tight but its just a normal reaction.

Thanks Linaa. How long did it take for you to recover? You went back to hospital for dressing up the wound (or) because of complications? Our worry is not the surgery itself, but the complication that might develop after surgery.


Hi A,
I had large haematoma a few weeks after surgery…the end of the wound opened up by itself and contents came out whilst being examined at clinic (I had gone because in a lot of pain &swollen) .One of the sisters there manipulated and smoothed it out and lots more yuk came out. It sounds gruesome but the relief was wonderful and the wound then healed over fairly quickly.
With hindsight I believe the drain was taken out too early (after 1 day) & there was still some drainage of blood/ fluid into the drain bottle happening when they removed it. I suppose I was still too numb and not thinking straight in questioning whether it was a good idea.

I had a haemotoma 24 hours after the drain was removed, which was in for 3 days after the lumpectomy. My right side blew up like an over-inflated football. I went back to the hospital and was re-admitted to the ward, they kept me in for 48 hours observation. The surgeon said that to surgically intervene would introduce as many risks as it would solve, so they monitored me and after 2 days sent me home with some lovely pain killers. The cancer support nurse said that it does happen and your body can deal with it on it’s own and as long as the haemotoma doesn’t become infected then 3-4 weeks should see things right again. The general swelling and tightness has had the knock-on effect of causing my armpit to swell up under the scar from the lymph node removal, which I guess is lymphodema, and now that IS painful, but the exercises and painkillers should make it manageable for the time it takes for the general swelling to go down. I am back to see the surgeon in 3 weeks so if things are not well on the way to being sorted, we can discuss it then.

I had a lovely heated beanbag which did wonders for the pain, but is a big no-no as it makes the actual swelling worse. It totally disolved the pain though, so I know I have that as a short term fix if the pain gets too much. Also I am a fantastic array of blues, purples and now yellows.
Don’t neglect your opiates that’s my motto!


I had a heamatoma with my lumpectomy and a second one after my mastectomy. The first time the docs wouldnt operate cos they knew i was having a mastectomy and didnt want too many anasthetics. It was pretty big however and after 3-4 days managed to break though th end of my healing op scar. It was such a relief. I wore a thick pad and the gunky blood slowly ozed out over a few days. the docs said as long as i was taking antibiotics it should be fine.

If it does leak out my BCN had a genius plan. She gave be several pairs of hospital pants, cut the crotch out and used them as a loose croptop/bra to hold the pads in place that were soaking up the ooze. They worked a treat!

The second one was much smaller and my body did get rid of it. Each case is diff and i’d go with wha the docs say, they wouldnt suggest surgery unles they really thought it was neccessary. If the heamatoma is big the blood will often find a way to escape. At least if the docs operate they can choose where the blood comes out rather than risk it breaking through any newly formed scar tissue.

Let us know how you get on

I had a mastectomy and axillary clearance on New Years eve. I developed a haematoma on the mastectomy and a seroma in the armpit. I then had a portacath fitted on Jan 14th and they drained these. The haematoma has come back as bad as ever and is very sore. I am to have the portacath stitches out on Friday do I need to see someone before that or do I just have to put up with the soreness?
I have now started chem as well but it is the haematoma which is causing most distress.

I notice these posts are quite old now so I hope there are still people who have the same problem as me. I had a heamatoma six hours after my lumpectomy, which was very painful I was given morphine, bliss!
I am three weeks post op and my breast is still very engorged with blood which feels like jelly under the skin I cannot wear a bra as it is still very tender and much bigger one side than the other. It feels as though I have a bolder under my arm not a breast.
I have my oncology appointment next week and am worried that my treatment will be delayed, does anyone know of anything that can be done to speed things up waiting for it to reabsorb could take weeks.

Hope to hear from someone


Hi Lizzie

Whilst you wait for the other users to reply with their advice and experiences please don’t hesitate to give the BCC helpline a call. Here you can talk things through with one of our trained members of staff who will offer you support and information. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Saturday 9am to 2pm and Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

I hope you find this helpful.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

Hi Sam,
Thank you for responding so promptly, It’s very helpful, I will give the number a call and have a chat.


dear lizzie
As you were writting your comment on the 11th september, i was being wheeled into theatre to deal with an enourmous haematoma (think great pyramid or mount Kilimanjaro) the day after my segmental maesectomy.
I was on a drain for four days and turned a two night stay in hospital to six days. Bit cross with my body for turning what for other paitients was a straight forward procedure into a bit of
a drama. As you say, my concern is now for further treatment, i have my follow up appiontment in a week and I am not sure having a bright yellow rock where once my breast was wiil help. I have sent my eldest daugter out to get arnica, but any other suggestions for lesening the bruising would be gratefully recieved

HI Effie

sorry you’re suffering with a haematoma.

I had the same after my initial excision biopsy to diagnose the cancer - what should have been an easy day case turned into an overnight stay when my boob started growing and going rock hard in the ward after the op. Apparently they had nicked a vein which was bleeding into the boob. Unfortunately there was nothing they could do about it - they didn’t want to put a drain in as they prefer the body to get rid of it and although it was painful for a couple of days and about 5 cup sizes larger than normal it did settle down. The boob went black, blue, green, yellow, purple etc (my OH couldn’t bear to look at it) - I have series of photos of it as it looked so gruesome. The worst bit was when one of the stitches gave way and the boob leaked in the shower - oozing smelly black blood all over my white bathroom!

All this is probably not helping you!! Having said all the above, though, the gp on looking said that the boob was just trying to get rid of the blood and the best way was to let it - even squeezing out the blood in the shower - which I never could bring myself to do!

I tried arnica but not sure it made any difference although it felt nice to rub the cream on - my experience was that the bruising went after a week or so, and it looked much worse than it felt - the swelling went down day by day and it didn’t really hurt much - I wore a soft non-underwired cheapo sports bra from Tesco night and day (even in bed) which really helped to stop it jogging around and to support the swelling. I had a further op to clear the rest of the lump during which they removed the rest of the haematoma a couple of weeks later.

My advice is just to not worry too much about it - it really freaked me out at the time but the doctors said not to worry too much and they were right - it settles down reasonably quickly and should sort itself out. Two months on and everything is back to normal and I wouldn’t know it had happened.

Lizzie, I would really recommend you wear a bra - go out and buy a couple in a larger size - cheap ones will do and squash your boob into it - the surgeon recommended I did this the day after the op and although I thought it would be too painful he was absolutely right (aren’t they always?) and I wished I had done it the night of the op to save the discomfort.

Hope it all goes well for you



Many thanks for your reply, Helen. Boob a bit more normal looking but oozing blood. Have spoken to BCN who said to see how it goes. My big tip, after comfy bras, would be diposble maternity brest pads, though this did produce a catch in throat moment for me, as it was only five years ago i was buying them to sop up surplus milk!
I have to say i have been put off any cosmetic surgery for life. The thought of going through all this for any but the most desperate of reasons…
Still, in a box ticking sort of a way, segmental maesectomy done, onto radio therapy and hormone treatment oh joy.

Hi all, I’m new to this site. I’ve had 3 surgeries on my breast. Last one showed precancer cells. Family history of breast cancer. Last year I had colon cancer, operation no treatment. Dr says one has nothing to do with the other. So here are my options. from my oncologist,.do nothing and just keep getting tested, take tamocifin, which can cause blood clots which is what my father died from at the age of 46, or double maesectomy. I’m going to see a surgeon on Thursday to hear his input. Any thoughts on this. Thanks for listening…Barbara

Leave it and make sure they screen you PROPERLY and REGULARLY.