swelling in breast

3 weeks ago I had breast cancer surgery, which did not require removal of lymph nodes. A few days ago I started to do the more advanced exercises and a couple of days later, the breast became more swollen and ached quite a bit for a couple of days. Have I overdone the exercises or is this normal? How long does the swelling last after the op?

Hi, in all probability you have a seroma that may need drained. Phone your BCN if it needs draining it isn’t really sore and the relief is instant.
Hope this helps a bit, but don’t overdo the exercising if you are too uncomfortable. Its still very early days.

I had my mastectomy August 20th, since then I have had to have seroma drained 8 times but it’s getting less each time.It has been very uncomfortable to sleep at night but draining gives immediate relief!Today I had my prosthesis fitting and it feels really good almost normal!I’m just taking it a day at a time and each one seems to be getting better.

I’m 2 weeks post-mastectomy and have had a big seroma drained twice in the last week. 250 mls each time. It feels instantly better, as laptalass and judithmary have said, but mine just starts filling up again almost instantly! It’s driving me nuts. As is the faffing about getting someone to drive me to the BCN to have it drained. But hopefully it will get better with time and at least the fluid is clear :).

Good luck and keep doing the exercises!

Hi, I’m glad I’ve found someone having the same problem as me. I had surgery three weeks ago and have had a large seroma drained once but will have to go again. My consultant does it, is there anywhere else we can go to get it done? Does anyone know if there is a connection between seromas and lymphdema?
Its good to talk to others with the same worries, I feel quite isolated sometimes.


Hi there, just to jump in here, I had a seroma which resulted in a major explosion of yuk shooting across the room on two occasions,just after getting up n having a shower,roughly 10 days post op.As there was a slight"hole" in my scar I had to go to the district nurse for a few days to get “milked” Eeeeeeew ! Anyhow,all fine and dandy now but 10 weeks post rads had to fight to get to see lymphodema nurse,changes had occurred to my boob and no-one seemed to take it seriously. Stamped foot and got referal and am afraid to say that yes there is a known link between having a seroma and developing Lymphodema so if you think things have changed please don’t put up with getting fobbed off by other medical personnel.The sooner you can get into the system with something like this the better.Good luck.

Sandra x

Just wanted to agree with Sandra, here.

Don’t let them fob you off - if it is lymphoedema, the sooner it is treated, the better.

And if they tell you, you can only get it in your arm, they’re WRONG!



hi i had mx 10 days ago i had fluid drained last wk and ive now gtg back again as very swollen and painfull i have tried to do the second lot of exercises but to painfull to do themn i had no drains as my surgeon said none was needed does the fluid build up make it very painfull does any one know as i can hardly move my arm now many thanks laura

Well, drains are a pain, but seromas sound even more uncomfortable!

If you get a fluid build-up after an op, its seems to suggest that a drain IS necessary to me.

Perhaps it’s a cost saving measure.

Hope you’re feeling better soon, laura. Don’t strain anything trying to those exercises - concentrate on minimising your discomfort if you can - keeping yourself, particularly your arm, as comfy as you can your arm comfy and taking painkillers.

X to all


hi yea i no i feal the same ive gtg to glinic tomoorrow to be drained bc nurse said even if you have drains put in you can still get a build up and to leave exercises today the more advanced ones you do the more the fluid builds up you cant win hope im sorted soon

Hi again

I’m sure that, as your bcn says, you can still get a fluid build-up with a drain, but it’s got to be less likely, surely?

I hope you’re sorted soon as well, laura



hi yes i think the same but who are we to tell them there job lol we are just the ladies who have to put up with all the pain and rubbish we have to go through with this horrible d i always moan that they dont listern to me they prob be glad to get rid of me lol tc laura

I think it’s good to make them aware of your discomfort and concerns.

They see lots of women with breast cancer and, with the best will in the world, it must be easy to generalise to patients about after effects and pain and to forget that we’re all different.

Especially when they haven’t gone through it themselves!



yes i fully agree none of them have had it and all us ladies are dif hopefully they can sort me out soon and can be normal again