To drain or not to drain (a seroma), that is the question?

I had a mastectomy and lymph node clearance on Christmas Eve. I had a drain in for 6 days. Since then I’ve had to go back to get the collecting fluid drained on 5 occasions. Each time a considerable amount of fluid is drained but it keeps building up again within a day or so. I saw a new oncologist 6 days ago who said it was better not to have it drained but to let the body reabsorb the fluid. I now have a very full and increasingly tight ‘boob’ (a good b cup at least). Does anyone have any experience as to whether if you leave these swellings alone instead of periodic draining , that it does stop the fluid eventually from building up and get reabsorbed?
Any advice would be gratefully received. Cheers Jo

Hi I have had the same problem. It had to be drained whilst I was having Radiotherapy but BCN wants to leave it now and see if it dissipates. After 3 weeks of not draining it is tight and irritating - feels like a cushion against my arm. Seeing Onc today so will see what she suggests.

I had a mastectomy and lymph node clearance just before christmas 2011. I too had a seroma but never had it drained as my BCN said that eventually the body absorbs the fluid - and it did. There is always the risk of infection every time you have it drained. If it was me, I would leave it be. x

Hi I’m new to this site and to see someone in the same boat as me. I had same surgery mid dec…sorry I have no advise… and been back 4 times to have the seroma drained and still building up…Its actually delaying my chemo which is frustrating and nerve wracking too. I go once a week it is getting less but as I get more sensation back it feels so tight like a big tight plaster with a blister inside… its now about 200ml.

Hi, thanks for your replies. It is obviously an area of controversy . For now I will press on with leaving it but as it grows, it gets more uncomfortable. Will hope it starts to resolve soon. Jo

Just back from first chemo and so far so ok . I did get v sick on FEC but ask for all anti sickness meds you can. Tax causes more joint and muscle aches on around day 3 apparently but I’ll let you know in due course no doubt.
A fighting spirit is what you need to get you through . You will get there- one session at a time, one day at a time. Take care xx