Problematic seroma

After my axillary node clearance, nobody warned me that I might develop a seroma about 9 days later, 5 days after my drain was  removed. I hated the drain, but I don’t much like the seroma which  I’ve had aspirated twice so far. I’ve started antibiotics I had been prescribed ‘in case’ because it became red and angry looking. But maybe I just panicked. I rang a friend of a friend who is a lymphoedema nurse, who was  the first person to explain to me what the seroma actually is and why it happens: severed lymphatic vessels continue to drain  lymphatic fluid into the space where the nodes were, before they were cut out. Apparently the severed ends of the very fine lymph vessels eventually seal off and new vessels form to bridge the gap,  and until this happens lymphatic fluid continues to flow into the space forming a seroma. I was told that it can be counter-productive to keep aspirating as the seroma can  continue to fill up and there is a risk of infection each time. Overtime they reduce in size and the fluid is absorbed into the surrounding tissue. I think this is an accurate account of what I was told over the phone. The BCN was reluctant to aspirate mine a third time but then told me to come back if it was too uncomfortable, which is a bit contradictory. Has anyone experienced an uncomfortable seroma, or had one aspirated, and how long did it go on for? The oncologist said it would need to have settled before I start my chemo so I am a bit anxious. To be honest I’m anxious about everything now. 

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Hi carmen Verandah (love the name :))

I’ve not had a seroma but did panic after the drain was removed 2 weeks ago after axillary clearance. Your description of how it’s caused is good though I’m sure many will find that useful. I didn’t realise it could prevent chemo starting, do you have a date for chemo. I’m not due back to see my surgeon for another 2 weeks to get my treatment plan. Hope your seroma  heals and you’re good to start your next journey. Take care :two_hearts: