Lump in armpit after Axillary Node Clearance


After 4 months of Chemo, I had a SMX with a temporary implant in January where two sentinel nodes were removed, both of which tested positive. This was followed by an Axillary node clearance in February.  All the nodes removed during the ANC were clear of cancer. 

The ANC dressing came off a day or two ago leaving a seroma which is very gradually reducing. Now the dressings have been removed and swelling is subsiding, I’ve found a new small hard lump in my armpit I’ll speak to my breast surgeon on Monday, but wondered if anyone else had anything similar post surgery? Could it be scar tissue?

Hi Mrs Kettlebell

This is very early days for you so I’m struck dumb with admiration that you are prodding and poking. Maybe you’re just gently massaging that seroma away? My oncology physio explained the basic physiology of a full axillary clearance. Once the lymph nodes have been removed, there’s a vacuum into which anything nearby tends to collapse so it’s possible that this is what you are feeling, something displaced. It can be the beginning of cording (which is fairly easily dealt with and held at bay for most people). This is NOT a diagnosis, by the way, just an alternative suggestion to scar tissue, which it may well be. I’ve recently had a biopsy and the tissue behind it is rock solid - hopefully only until the wound is healed. 

All the best xx


i had node clearance for recurrence in December.

I too have a lump but mines on my scar line. I e been informed that it’s seroma and will very slowly absorb. I ended up in hospital on iv antibiotics due to it becoming infected, delaying my radiotherapy. I have now started my radiotherapy on Tuesday past and the lump remains.

hopefully it will absorb soon.