Mild seroma

ok, I am just over two weeks post lumpectomy and sentinel node removal. Scar good, healing good, but since yesterday the area under the lymph node scar and down the side of the breast feels considerably more painful than it did a week ago. No sign of redness, infection etc. Maybe some slight ‘doming’ in the area. Is this possibly a slight fluid build up ? It’s quite a way to you hospital…and I certainly don’t think it is anything to necessitate a trip there today. However, I am asking advice from you ladies about slight Seroma ( if this is what it is): is to something that can naturally resolve over time? I’ve see people need draining, I’m not in that category of either pain or swelling at all I’m sure, but I was wondering what I can do to assist nature if nature does indeed deal with it ?


Charys x

Ok, I’m replying to myself…been and checked by nurse. Not a BC nurse, but I guess she must know enough ey…? 

Hi Charys, I had my snb a week before you and developed similar symptoms about a week ago. When I queried it with my bcn and hospital physio I was reassured that all the bruising and healing inside and of nerves etc as well as the scar takes a while.   I had a little bit of cording which literally looked like a small cord under the skin and as I became bored with the exercises I was given by the hospital I just make sure I raise my arm and keep it raised above my head several times a day.  This has definitely helped. I am still numb and sore but find raising my arm easy now and can use it almost as usual now.  As you will be going straight into radiotherapy you need to do the exercises as my understanding is that you need to raise your arm when you have radiotherapy. Hope this helps  X

Hi, answering because I found a way to deal with mild seroma in the last week that works for me.


Background: I’m almost 4 weeks post right-side mastectomy with implant and sentinel lymph node removal. I was basically fine the first week after surgery, then overdid activities (going out, dragging my 3-year-old around, etc) and was in real trouble with swelling and fluid accumulating around the implant. After a scan they decided not to drain the fluid, but by that point I’d been on ibuprofen almost a week (shouldn’t go over 10 days) and I decided to try some things on my own.


Elements of getting rid of fluid & swelling:

  1. Doing as close to nothing as possible. I stopped doing any recommended exercises that pulled on the fluid zones as well. I slept a huge amount. Very boring.


  1. Wearing tight sports bra and added compression. I thought of it like with a twisted ankle: the key to not letting the swelling get worse is to have some compression (obviously not too much: blood circulation is essential to healing). The tight sports bra I had was good, but it didn’t compress the part between the breasts, where a lot of the fluid had ended up (not coincidentally, I believe). I rolled up a sock and put it between the breasts to add compression there, and it worked. I kept this (sports bra + sock) on at night as well, wasn’t too uncomfortable (especially since the swelling & fluid did go down).


  1. Sleeping and lying down on 2 pillows, arm to the side. The idea is that the mastectomy should be the highest point when you are lying down, so pillows under there (and head for comfort), with the corner of the pillow sticking out between the chest and arm. This makes the arm stick out to the side, and the fluid drains into the arm.My arm was damn painful for a few days, but I figure this is better than it being in the wound site, and eventually that went away too. If by accident I slept with my arm along my chest (normal position), the fluid & swelling backed up again in the mastectomy site, so I think this is really key.


Sorry for long post, but figure it might help some people. So far things are a lot better, although I carried something too heavy again today (with my good arm!) and the swelling has flared up again. I expect it will go back down over night.


Good luck to all,


Hi all, I seem to have similar. Had lumpectomy nearly 4 weeks ago. There’s an area near the scars that is swollen and very sore to touch. The two scars (from nodes removal and lump removal…actually quite close together) feels rock hard. Also it feels tender under my arm. 

I’m seeing oncologist tomorrow to arrange rads so hope she can tell me what’s going on…and IF I can still start rads without being properly healed. 

I’ll let you know what she says. 

Great info on here as usual. 

Best wishes to all, 

Pat xx 

I had a WLE and SNB on 24 August and was doing well until 10 days post op when I noticed a painful  and uncomortable swelling under the scar where the nodes were removed. It was sore a few days before the swelling developed. I contacted the hospital and as it was a saturday evening I was advised to contact my gp out of hours service which I did. I was seen that night and the doctor thought it was an infection and prescribed antibiotics. I have tried to manage with it  until I see my consultant for the post op check on 13 Sept. I and have been in touch with my BC Nurse but it’s becoming more painful although no more swollen. Nurse think’s it’s more likely a seroma. I am now going to the hospital tomorrow to have it looked at. Just wondering what to expect, not looking forward to it!

HI yer,

Don’t panic. …the bcn will have a little feel around and look and give her expert opinion…she will have experienced this so many times and will know exactly what to look for. She might give you some manual massage 3 exercises to relieve the pain and swelling caused by the lymph collecting. I had that at the same stage you are now. Or if an infection she can get that checked out and get you on the right treatment…or…if it needs draining as is really bad then she can sort that too. Either way really don’t worry itll be sorted after her expert eye has looked you over x

Thank you Charys for your reply. It was a seroma & i had it aspirated (70mls) it immediatly felt better! The area is still very sore but I’ve been told that will improve. X

Good. …I’m glad youve got immediate relief and it wasn’t infected! X

So glad i found this thread. Some good bits of advice.
I am 5 days post WLE and SNB and breast and under lymph node wound is swelling and got more discomfort and pain today. However its not red or inflammed. Just wondered if this is still to be expected. Just as I thought I was getting a bit more comfortable as well! Feel quite swollen along my right side underarm.
I am due in breast clinic Friday. So hoping Ican hang on til then xx