I had a lumpectomy two weeks today and i now have a slight swelling to the right of my ‘wound’. its not red or angry but it is soft and feels like liquid inside. I think it might be a seroma. I rang my bcn and as I have an appointment with the consultant on thursday this week said leave it until then - which is fine as although its a bit tender its not that sore as such. looking on various sites it seems that sometimes they are ‘left’ on their own to drain away anyway other times they are drained - although this can cause infection. Has anyone else experienced one and whilst I don’t want to hear gorey details do they tend to go away on their own…?

Hi I had a similar thing 2 weeks after my lumpectomy but I had a tiny red mark near to the swelling. My BCN drained it and a week later I got an infection! I wish I had left mine to drain itself although maybe the red mark was a sign of and infection anyway.I had had a further incision to widen the margins and got another small swelling 2 weeks later this one was left and drained away on its own but took about 2 weeks. Lots of people do have them drained without gaining an infection into the bargain. Good luck for Thursday

I had Seroma really bad after my op, it can get quite nasty my whole chest and colarbone area filled with fluid, I eventually ended up on a drain for an extra 2 weeks.

I am now left with re-occuring lymphodemia, which is more managable.

Try to gently massage the area, I found you can massage it back into the body.

Plus exercises, the BCC very kindly sent me some useful leaflets on these. I´m sure they will do the same for you.

Good luck, Love Teresa xxx

Hi there,

I have put the link to 2 of BCC’s publications regarding exercise and lymphoedema, hope they’re of help.

Exercises after breast cancer:*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/101/

Reducing the risk of Lymphoedema:*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/103/

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator


I had a seroma following wide local excision - it was very uncomfortable, felt like I was walking around with and orange in my armpit!! I had it drained twice, and on both occasions I could feel it re-filling after an hour. The docs preference would be to not drain them as it can cause infection, but personally I couldn’t bear the feeling.
Mine stopped ‘filling’ on the third time it was drained. I had also had a slight temperature the night before, so he gave me a cover of antibiotics as well. Don’t know if it was a coincidence but it has been fine ever since then.
Good luck

I do sympathise - I had mine drained five times. I was moaning about a swelling and pain and my beloved was doing a ‘raised eyesbrows act’. When he witnessed a pint of fluid being drained away… he went quite pale! Each time it was drained the amount was less - from 1pt to half a pint, then a quarter… and so on. I never thought the bl**dy thing would settle down but it did… and yours will too.

Good luck!

thanks for the replies.
Actually it does seem to be getting worse by the hour and whilst it doesnt look too bad it does ‘feel’ enormous it is actually on the side of my breast and my arm is rubbing it when i move which is making it sore. I will do the exersises and see if I can get the fluid moving and will see what the doc says on thursday.

Hello. I had a seroma after my WLE and I remember how extremely uncomfortable it was.
In my case the BCNs told me to leave it and said it would gradually disappear, but when the breast surgeon saw it he said it had to be drained. It refilled very quickly and altogether I had it drained 4 times over a 2 week period. They got less fluid out each time and after the 4th it settled down.
Good luck
Anthi x

Had my seroma drained yesterday and wow what a difference a day made!
Today I can lift my arm up above my head, get dressed easier and attempt my exercises again!
It was just so painful. I couldn’t bear the touch of fabric let alone seams in my clothes upon my node site where the seroma was biggest.
Not a great experience but already I know it will have to be repeated because it is all filling up again…
Still, today it all feels so much better.
Long may it last…

Welsh girl x

I was actually looking for some advice on this myself. I had a lumpectomy on tuesday. I had two lumps and calsfications. One was cancer, the other is DCIS (not quite sure what that is).

They seem to have taken out quite a bit of tissue. While i dont feel bad at all, i did notice a ‘sloshing’ sound when i was moving around.

I was horrified last night when i realised it was coming from my breast. It completly freaked me out last night almost to the point of hysteria.

It sounds like quite a lot of liquid, and my brain is running overtime. I have read that liquid is normal, but it would never have occurred to me that it would be this amount. Im not due back to the hospital until monday week. I feel like throwing up thinking about it.
Its not under my arm (although i did have a sentenial node biopsy), its at the top of the breast. Probably just aswell because its not getting in the way of me moving.

Anyway, is this normal??? Is there anything i can do?

Hi there,
About 50% of women suffer with seroma after their surgery (I’ve read!) and it does need to be drained. So I hope you can see your BCN asap as the discomfort can be eased…
However, it can fill up again…
I’ve had three aspirations so far!

Do hope you feel better soon and not quite so scared.

Best wishes Welsh girl

Hugs - I remember that sloshing sound and it is horrible. Mine was around the actual mastectomy area in fact it filled up the cavity where my breast had been and went up to my collar bone. I used to have around 500 to 600 cl drained off at a time but it has now all settled.

I was told if it’s looking about the size of a grapefruit to phone up and arrange to have it drained. If it’s freaking you out and it’s sloshing then I’d definitely phone the breast care nurse and talk to her about it. They may decide to see you sooner than Monday week and drain it for you.

Try not to be too alarmed by it all, it does seem to happen quite often.

take care
Elinda x

I had mine under my arm drained 6x in 2 weeks with no infection, but had to have it drained as it was so uncomfortable. As chemo was approaching and therefore a greater risk of infection if needed draining then, a steroid injection was put into seroma and it immediately cleared up.

I am 4 weeks post op MX and LD recon and had my back seroma drained three times and it is filled up again, waiting for chemo to start and would like the sloshing in my back to stop, it’s draining about 500mls a time and is the size of a fist again after 5 days post last drain. I will ask about the steroid injection, I was told it would need to clear up by itself! Do you know which steroid they used?

Hi all

It seems a long time ago now (5 years) and I don’t come on here very often - just to see if I can help, but I remember the seroma only too well! I had it in my armpit following WLE & axillary node clearance. It felt like a ball and was extremely uncomfortable. I had it drained 3x a week for 5 weeks. Each week was a little less and I didn’t get an infection. I then had to have a mastectomy as the margins weren’t clear and I got seroma under the scar (it looked like I was growing a new boob!) As it wasn’t bothering me - it just used to slosh a bit - they didn’t drain it at all and it was eventually reabsorbed by the body (can’t remember how long this took though).

Hope this helps