Seroma problems

I had a lumpectomy and axillary node sampling done on 27th September. I went back to the clinic last Monday and they withdrew 330mls of fliud from the node wound. Then on Thursday the wound had filled up like a golf ball so another 100mls was aspirated. I woke up yesterday and had to go to A & E and waited for 5 hours until it was aspirated again.
It is very painful today and seems to be filling up yet again. Has anyone else any experience of this? It’s making me feel so miserable. Should I just put up with it and hope it goes away on its own?
I felt i Had to go to A & E yesterday as it felt like the seroma was going to burst.
Funnily enough there are no problems with the cancer site wound!

Sorry to hear you’re going through this and you have my every sympathy. I had the same problems with the darn seroma filling up again and again. I too thought it would never end but the amounts being drained gradually decreased and it settled down. It is still very early days for you but it will NOT go on forever - promise!

Best wishes,


Oh I do sympathise. I’ve had exactly the same problems as you. Following bilateral mastectomy and sentinel node biopsies I had to have seromas under my arms drained many times.

Three weeks ago I had full node clearance on my right side and kept the drain in for 7 days but have still had to have seromas drained 6 times already - as soon as they’re drained they fill up immediately again.

I’ve been told that eventually the body learns to absorb the fluid - I wish it would hurry up I’m really fed up of having a tennis ball stuck in my armpit!

From my experiences following my initial op I know that eventually it will stop - so hang on in there shouldn’t be long now. x

Hi, I had my mx, anc&ld flap recon in Feb this year, had it drained once a week for nine weeks until Chemo started, there is still residual seroma now and they won’t drain it again as they want it to reabsorb by itself. I really empathise with you. Some surgeons inject the seroma with steroids which can help, didn’t work for mr unfortunately. I wish you all the best and hope it clears up soon!! X

I’ve also had seroma going on for ages. Had bilat mastectomy in Feb 10, had seromas both sides for months. Right side eventually went in July, but left side carries on. Down to about 15mls (from over 50mls in July) from last draining, and now on 6 weekly visits to clinic. It fills up again within 48 hours of draining, so I really could do with a weekly course of drainages. I’m sure it will go in the end, but I wasn’t quite expecting this! (like everything else!). Hope yours resolves soon. I wondered whether my right side resolved quicker as I had an infection after one drainage with lots of inflammation - maybe that shook it up, like the possible effect of a steroid injection (not that I’ve been offered any of those).
Good luck with it

I sympathise too - I had a horrible painful seroma which stopped me from doing my exercises and caused lots of problems.

I had so many bad experiences trying to get it drained that in the end I only had it done once. After the last attempt when a doctor stuck a needle in exactly where I’d told him I had full sensation, I decided never to go back again and a BCN told me in time it would go on its own.

It took a good 6/7 weeks, I’m afraid to say, but in the end the fluid did disperse. Apparently the more you drain them, the more they fill up. I had a drain in for 7 days and one nurse told me the suction would make the fluid just keep on coming and it was best to leave it alone and let your body deal with it. Not nice in the meantime, but there is an end to it.

Hi ya mouseybrown

I had the same, lumpectomy, 15 nodes removed and seroma aspirated 3 times. Was the size of a grapefruit at its worst! About the same amount as you aspirated on the first visit, a little less on the second and so on. Had it done 3 times in total.

I was so worried as I was going on holiday and did not want to have to get it done in a foreign clinic. I had it drained a couple of days before my holiday. My surgeon also gave me precautionary antibiotics to take away, just in case it got infected on my hols. They, kept saying its not really good to keep sticking a needle in because of the infection risk but the relief when it was aspirated was great and I didn’t care at the time. That was July/beginning of August this year. I did get an infection in the axilla wound two and a half weeks after my first chemo and cellulitus of the whole breast/under arm area and was in hospital for 18 nights and the antibiotics took some time to kick in. I just wonder if the reason I got this infection was because I had these needles/aspirations and that maybe there were some bugs in there that flared up when my immune system was low during the chemo. Well, it may just be coincidence, I don’t know. But what I do know is that the seroma did come back a bit when I was on holiday but I think with the swimming everyday, sun, relaxation, whatever…it disappeared on its own about a week after the last aspiration…obviously until the damn infection at the beginning of Sept. So my advice is, now that the fluid is getting less…try to perserve and leave it to see if the body will start to naturally absorb… Best of luck, been there, know how you feel XXXX

hi there

I too suffered a lot with seromas. I had the seroma drained about 5 or 6 times in total with the worst being over 500 mls in one go. It did take a while to settle, I though it never would despite reassurances from the surgeons and now the whole area is so flat. I would say it’s still very early days for you - not even a month and your body is still undergoing its healing process.
take care and good luck with it all.

Thanks for your comments ladies - it’s nice to know I’m not the only one. The nurse drained it this mornong and there was 170mls approx. I was due to get my results this Wednesday and she surprised me by asking whether I would come in tomorrow morning for them as they had a jam packed clinic on Wednesday.
I’m really scared of going to get them because I don’t want to know if the cancer has spread. The seroma was taking up my worry time!

Really hope it’s good news for you tomorrow. take care, Elinda xx

I had mine drained 6 times in 3 weeks and as it was nearing chemo time and therefore an infection risk, a steroid solution was injected into the seroma and it cleared up straight away.