Seroma afterWLE and later axillary clearance

Hi, I have joined the forum recently and this is my first post. I was diagnosed in October this year and had a WLE and sentinal node biopsy on 6th Nov. Unfortunately the node was positive and I had an axillary clearance on 4th December. Thankfully all of the other nodes were clear! This was obviously fantastic news so I feel that my current problem might seem a bit trivial in light of this, but it is begining to really get me down despite my good news.

After my drain was removed, I deveoped a Seroma under my armpit, which my surgeon drained on the 17th Dec. Unfortunately it has now re-filled and is ( I think) bigger than it was before. It is really painful and the pain is extending towards my shoulder blade and into my chest.

Does anyoe have experience of seroma after axillary clearance and how long it is likely to last? Does it make lymphodeama more likely? My arm sentaition is variable with both numbness and sensitivity in patches and sometimes feels kind of heavy since this seroma got bigger. Should I have it drained again or does this “encourage” it to fill up?

I hope someone might be able to advise or have had a similar experience, since everyone here seems to have some wisdom to share.



Hi Li-Li

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums, you’ve come to the right place for some good, honest support from the many informed users of this site.

While you are waiting for replies, I have put for you below links to some of BCC’s publications you might find helpful. Also our helpline team are just a free phone call away, 0808 800 6000 lines open Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 10-2

Take Care,

Jo, Moderator

Hi Linda

I am sorry that I can’t offer you any advice as have not had a clearance, I am sure someone will be along in due course to share their experience with you and offer practical tips.  I just wanted to send you a virtual hug and wish you all the very best in your recovery.  (((hug))) Dollybeads x x x:heart:

Hi Li-Li, I a had WLE in Feb and one node affected to the surgeon took rest of nodes all which were clear. I awoke from the operation with a little rubber balloon thingy which was full of blood. It was removed before I left the hospital, but I also developed a Seroma. It was very uncomfortable (fit to burst) as I remember. The following week I went back to my surgeon,he drained it. infact I had it drained about 3 times. My under arm was sore  and swollen. I also had cording. He gave me some antibiotics also. Well my adivice is, if it feels swollen then get it drained. I did not get lymphoedema. I was encouraged to massage the area when you can with bio oil. It will go down in time,it just seems to take ages! months in fact. I no longer have cording,thanks to physio, only have numbness under arm and under side of arm,and the scar is a little lumpy underneath, but a whole lot better than it was,so don’t worry it will get better. Hope this helps.