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Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

35 REPLIES 35
Brolo
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi
I had a mastectomy just over12 weeks ago and still have seroma ... my back get so tight as well as my breast and under arm.... it isn't sore but more uncomfortable. I had a back flap reconstruction
I didn't have enough muscle for the reconstruction so a implant was used as well.... I just feel i have a foreign body inside me... Will this feeling eventually go? And will i ever get rid of the fluid?
Up until a few weeks ago I had terrible backache
But i was advised to do Pilates to strengthen my core and get stronger painkillers from my doctor ... I have to say this has helped and reduced my back pain emenslly.
I have the breast consultant on Friday.... I was hoping to get back to work .... but i know iam still not fit enough...i have a very physical job.
Is there anyone a bit further on than myself ... that can tell me how their doing 😁
DPD
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Seroma should be clear/straw coloured - yours sounds like it could be a haematoma The redness sounds like cellulitis or infection-I recommend you are seen again Demand an apt &I if any issues then tell them you are going to A&E It is not acceptable for you to be suffering
Hope you get it sorted
Wynneth
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi all.  I had left side mastectomy four weeks ago, have been in constant pain since then.  Was originally booked into hospital for one night, although was pressured in the post op recovery ward to go home same night.  I was stuck in recovery until after 7pm as they couldn't find a bed for me !  I was actually discharged three days later, drain was removed about an hour before I was discharged.  Given no pain meds, only had paracetamol at home.  When I went home I felt as if my breast had re grown as it was so swollen, it continued to swell over the next few days u til I feared the would would open up.  I went to BC clinic a week after surgery to have dressing removed - a couple of days after getting home I could see leakage into the dressing.  BC nurse removed the dressing and declared the wound looked good.  A couple of hours later, when I got out of my chair at home, I found the back of my shirt was soaked with a yellow fluid which was leaking from the drain wound.  I packed kitchen towel and a cotton towel around it so it wouldn't leak into my bed and ruin the mattress.  Next morning the leaking had stopped.  Over the next week my 'boob' continued to grow, was very painful and felt it was stretching the wound.  I fully expected to find it had burst open !  I called the BCN number and got a call back in a coup,e of hours.  She told me to go to the clinic on the following Monday (I called on a Friday) that weekend I was in agony and it continued to swell.  On the Monday the BCN drained 750ml of dark brown fluid from the area (everything I've read says Seroma fluid is either clear or yellow tinged).  She couldn't stop the fluid leaking so fitted a drain bag and told me to remove it once the amount of flow decreased.  The relief of pressure from the first draining was wonderful, but didn't last as it started swelling again immediately the next day.  Since then it's continued to swell but I was told it couldn't be drained again for ten days.  For the past five days the skin above the wound has gone very red, very sensitive to touch and feels hot.  I called the BCN number again on Tuesday, she asked if I felt well in myself and had I taken my temperature.  Gave me an appointment for today (Thursday) for further draining.  I've been in so much pain this week, it's very swollen and the redness has spread all over the top of the wound area and this morning I noticed it's spread below the wound.  I'm not sure if I should be worried about the redness ?  Do I have an infection in the wound ?  Feeling totally pants today, sore throat, headache and still in lots of pain.  So sorry for ranting, just don't know what to do !  If you've stuck with me to the end, thanks for reading.  Any advice is very welcome. X

awmc
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

I had breast surgery on 25 July and ALNC on 19 August.  The feeling of sunburn you speak of is what I cannot cope with -  My thoughts have been to find a tight-fitting sleeve just for the sensitive upper arm.  Apart from this awful feeling I too have to cope with changing my dressing at least twice a day with the amount of fluid leaking from my wound.  What a tiresome, frustrating experience ....   all the best 

Runningfree
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Dear Seroma Maiden

was wondering how you are getting on?

 

Seroma Maiden
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Thank you Runningfree!!  I feel that an open wound is bound to get infected too!!  I am going to our local Wound Care Center and Hopefully they will have a better option!!  Having to PULL 2 inches of Packing out daily and cutting it off (when there is 2 feet of Packing in there) just seem very sterile!!

Runningfree
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Dear Seroma Maiden

what you are going through is awful and for far too long, what does your breast care nurse say about it?

could you see someone else for a second opinion? A hole could encourage infection if left open.

X

Seroma Maiden
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Everyone!!!  I have a Double Mastectomy on Feb. 17 and have nothing but problems EVERY Since!!  Actully the Main Surgery was a Breeze- but a week after the Surgeon took the Drain out the Seroma's began and havent stopped YET!!!  I Also Had TWO Port-a-Caths comin loose!!!  Two Weeks after my original surgery my port dropped and I got a HUGE Hematoma on the Right side!!!  Two emergency surgeries in the same day and they sent me home!!!  I did Three out of the Four Recomended Chemo's- because My Port Dropped again!!!  I wanted it OUT!!!!  Every week I have to go in to have the Sugeon Syringe the Seromo!!!  He doesn't have ANY Clue what to do next!!!  I had my Drain taken out on Monday the 29th and the next morning it ALREADY started to fill back up!!  So His last trick was to open me up in his office (with a little novacain) and packed it with dry packing!!!  Barbaric!!!  We (MY HUSBAND) had to pull out two inches of the packing daily and cut it off!!!

Any suggestions?????  This has been going on since February!!!  I AM DO DONE WITH ALL OF THIS!!

 

HELP!!!

 

jillybee
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Have read this thread with interest.Have seroma in abdoman following DIEP 2 months ago.Drained twice,600 and 400mls.....still have some,and wear either a binder or invisible waist support from a large store!Giving me hope as reading all this,I realise it doesn't last forever.But,so uncomfortable ......now have fat necrosis in breasts,hope that resolves..gentle hugs to all.
Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Mariajoe312

 

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums, I am sure your fellow forum users will be along soon to offer their support.

 

In the meantime I have put for you below the link to BCC's publication 'Exercises after breast surgery' and hope you find it helpful.

 

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/getting-fitter-feeling-stron...

 

Take care,

Jo, Moderator

mariajoe312
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

What exercise? Plz help if u know of anything to speed the process of this seroma under my arm and in the breast thats not suppose to be there but filled up so bad thats what it looks like. Going back to bs Thursday to see what she says. Im so afraid this may interfere with something else in my body with all the fluid I have.
mariajoe312
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

U r so right. My left breast after bilateral mastectomy feels and looks like it is growing with all the fluid build up. I am so depressed even though my bs says it will disappear. Had surgery 7-30-2014.
mariajoe312
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Every morning I walke up my underarm and lleft breast feel like and elastic bank is wrapped in it. As the day goes on it starts to feel a little better, not much. I do think that laying down encourages fluid. I wish someone could help with some kind of exercise to speed the process of reducing swelling. Don't know how long I can take this.
rosie14
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Lols I had double mx nearly 2 weeks ago and have had 3 aspirations so far the one yesterday was far less 2 syringes full I think instead of an overflowing sick bowl in the hospital just days ago. The build up does get uncomfortable and I too have a sleep problem mainly due to tight dressing which I can take off tomorrow!
Jo1
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Anita, so sorry to hear your seroma has been so big and keeps on and on. I had a mx 5 weeks ago and have had it drained each week since, and I'm hoping that will be it for me - the bc nurses were saying it might be finished this week as the amount has trailed off quite a bit, although some of the ladies at the seroma clinic had been going much longer than me. I've been mainly having a bc nurse who's learning how to drain seromas and this week she was solo and just has to get another in as she was unsure about it. As I say, my drainings have been much smaller than for you, but as I only have a tiny breast on the other side (4 lumpectomies a few years ago, and I was small-busted before that) it looked as big as the other side.

 

I've been surprised how painfree the draining has been, even though the needle went into the wound - almost the worst bit for me was trying to get the ultra-thin and invisible plaster off later - even my husband couldn't do it! The worst was the sloshing about of the fluid - I described it to friends as like a hot water bottle - you touch it in one place and it gluggs off to the other side! If anyone reads this who is concerned about seromas and what happens, it's pain-free to be drained for everyone I've spoken to.

 

Actually, it occurs to me that the amounts you're having drained are similar to many of the benign cysts I had drained over the length of 34 years - some of the staff and I used to laugh about me going round in circles after being drained - you have to laugh or start crying sometimes, don't you.

 

So, I'm no help to you but I do appreciate what you're going through - maybe you need to see somebody other than the bc nurses - maybe you could try ringing the helpline here at BCC, as they are hugely knowledgeable  and helpful. Hope it all improves for you before too long.

 

To Helm, and anyone else having problems with their shoulders/arms moving normally and not being able to stretch arms, I found 5 years ago after having ordinary physio twice following lumpectomies that did absoutely nothing to help, that there was an NHS cancer physio at a more specialised hospital locally, which did wonders. The movements the physio made were just gentle strokes from the wound up to the shoulder over and over and other gentle movements - she said she was helping to train the nerves to function again properly. This time around with bc one of the bc nurses supervising the one draining my seroma asked how far I could move my arm, said it wasn't good (although it moves far better than with my previous bc!) and put me down for cancer physio, which starts next week.  Maybe there are these specialist cancer physios at other hospitals, it seems they aren't generally known about.

 

Gentle hugs, Jo x

Anita1950
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

I am tearing my hair out in desperation, I had a double mastectomy on 29th April 2014, and thankfully post op have discovered that I am technically cancer free, as it was stage one and everything was removed. I need some radiotherapy now, I had all the lympth Nodes removed left side and the sentinel node removed from the right....All these weeks on, I am still suffering from enourmous Seromas, mI have had 6 aspirations at the hospital, the last aspiration took 1860 mlls of fluid off me...The one Previous 1250, mll ALL of my aspirations have been large. I have what amounts to a new left breast  and thats in just one week. I would love to hear from anyone who has had this experience and what was done about it. Thanks x

Lols
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi me again, had 2nd wle approx 2 weeks ago, last monday had aspiration, last few days leaking from wound off and on, has become today uncomfortable today, havnt had mx, just wle and full ANC, now under arm and boob tight, swollen, feeling swollen in upper back on op side, not due for further aspiration till Tuesday, my surgeon will only do once a week as infection risk, any advice regarding easing it, have elevated arm have done exercise. Cannot get comfy whatever I do really painful now, taken brufen but no relief.
a would be grateful for any help, need to get a good nights sleep, thanks x
Lols
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Thanks nice to know sensitivity goes, got appt tomorrow will ask for stronger painkillers. Nite x
Nextstep
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Lols, I didn't have ANC but sunburn type feeling sounds just like what I had a couple of weeks after my MX. Nothing touching my skin was fine and a constant pressure on it was better than anything lightly brushing it which did feel just like something touching sunburn. So oddly a snug fitting sleeve may help. It does wear off - one day you will suddenly think when did that stop hurting? If it's really bad they can prescribe tablets to help.
Lols
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi looking for some advise from anyone who's had ANC. Had wle and anc18th June, had drain removed 9 days later as in loads of pain, when removed lost a lot of fluid post removal, bc nurse said drain wasn't working. Since then felt a lot better, still doing all exercises, pretty good range in arm. Today though arm very painful down to elbow and when I have arm against body and against right breast (wle) feels swollen but no obvious swelling. No obvious swelling in breast, just bruised. Arm measures same, is extremely sensitive anyway since ANC, feels like constant sunburn. Just can't get pain relief even after exercise, what's cording feel like, wouldn't a seroma show? Can anyone help pain getting me down. Did have a lazy day yesterday would lying down too much contribute? Help!!!!!!! Thank replying if you do reply, currently using hot water bottle and making OH make me coffee, I'm prob doing his head in but making use of him feeling bit sorry for me!! X
Helm
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi, I've got Seroma too - I had a mastectomy and lymph node clearance 3 weeks ago. I had the seroma drained at my post op appointment on Monday (I heard the nurse say something like 400 or 450 ml to the doctor). It felt good to have it gone...but it came straight back the next day, which was really disappointing. I'm not finding it too uncomfortable but it does make me a bit anxious even though all the literature says it can take some weeks to disappear, and the hospital advised against getting it drained often unless it's causing a problem, due to the risk of infection (and I'm starting chemo soon). So I can sympathise with all those experiencing this too.
It's funny in a way as it's a bit like having a boob on that side again - I can't wear the softie I was given because it makes it look bigger than my other boob!:) So I'm able to wear a bra pretty normally without it showing that I only have one now. I'll be glad when it dissapears though. I keep worrying it'll get bigger and open my scar or something, but it seems to have stabilised.
The arm discomfort does dissapear over time, even though it might seem like forever and as though nothing is changing. So I would advise to persever with the excersises. I had so much discomfort recently, but also tried massaging my arm and shoulders every day, whilst watching TV, just gently using the flat of my hand in a gentle circular motion. I think this might have helped as the skin sensitivity, bruised feeling and 'pins' feeling is subsiding (slowly) - although I've still got a lot of tightness in moving my arm in certain directions. Trying to do the walking the hand up a wall exercise is really difficult! But it's improving...I have a wallpaper with little flowers on and I can see my hand moving up past them little by little - nice to have something to measure against, as it doesn't always seem like much is changing:)
So don't give up anyone! We'll all get through this, albeit slowly
susanmary
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi jintyb,
I had WLE and ANC just over three weeks ago. I have had the underarm seroma drained three times (which was Painfree), I also found it very uncomfortable and took regular painkillers. The first time it drained about 270mls and each time it has got less. Seeing the consultant is the best thing for you. Keep trying to do your arm exercises after your painkillers as the last thing you need is shoulder mobility problems.
I stayed in overnight after surgery as the nurses said it was alot to cope with as a day case, although the surgeon thought I would just be in for the day. So glad I did stay in as I needed morphine during the night.
You will feel much better once the fluid has gone, contact your breast nurse if it starts to return.
Hope you get on okay today.
Gentle hug x
jintyb
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hiya, can I jump in please? I found all your posts really helpful and reassuring. I had my lumpectomy and sentinel node clearance on 24 April and although all is clear I had a ANC as a precaution ten days ago. I was in hosp for five days as I was draining well over 100ml a day. Since i got home the seroma has built up and is the size of an orange under my arm and feels like the top of my arm and chest is swollen too. i had it checked yesterday at herceptin clinic and the nurse immediately contacted the consultant as she said it was "extensive". The upshot is that the consultant is,seeing me this morning (Sunday!!) It is so sore -is this normal? Taking paracetamol and dihydracodiene which help. also i am so very tired. I feel a bit lost as the surgeon made out that the anc was quite a straightforward op and i would be a day patient. Eh no! The nurses on the ward were the ones who spelled out how it would affect me. Sorry to ramble but its been a long six months with chemo,surgery, herceptin and potential rads. Id be grateful for any thoughts or advice x
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

It is 9 weeks since my MX following DCIS and I have been told my seroma will probably last at least 6 months. Bit like having a built in football and at one point I almost gave it a name. How sad is that. I didn't want it drained because it doesn't particularly bother me and I didn't wants to risk infection. I work full time and my day passes so quickly I never even think about my seroma. However I did manage to severly bruise it a few weeks ago it by rather stupidly carrying a rather heavy bag of shopping against my chest. I got off the bus, went into the supermarket for one thing and came out with far more. It looked like the red sky at night and will take weeks to clear. It wasn't painful and I iced packed it for a couple of days just in case. After several weeks I have been able to wear a camio bra again (don't need any padding at this point) and it is far more comfortable. I enjoy doing the exercises twice daily from the booklet I was given and they have certainly improved my flexibility but made no difference to my seroma. Of course we are all different and want different things but for me if it ain't broke then don't fix it.
Aly1971
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi everyone - so I finally had my 2 week post op on Wednesday and they drained 500mls ( yup a whole pint!) they actually said it had been left a little too long and should have been drained earlier but thankfully it seems to have done the trick and when I met the Onc on Friday she felt that there was no need to drain anymore so hopefully that's that.
It wasn't painful at all and really weird to watch by 'boob' slowly shrivel down like a balloon. Apparently if you have larger boobs it is very common, the nurse said the clinic record was 3 x 400ml bottles in one go - can you imagine!

I hope everything goes well for all of your post op recoveries, thanks so much for your reassuring posts.

aly xx
catzooo
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Great news almost 6 weeks post surgery - I've stopped filling up with fluid. Went back to the hospital just to check, and it is healing well now. The nerve pain has almost gone away too. Still feels very stiff, but keeping up with the exercises as I got Rads next.
elinda45
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi there
Sorry to hear about your seroma problem. I had that after my mx too and it does get incredibly uncomfortable. At its worst, I could actually feel the fluid rushing down from the shoulder area into my chest. For me, it did go on for quite a long time and I had to have it regularly drained (the worst was 400 ml) but then all of a sudden it stopped and everything healed. It went flat and smooth as it should be. Everyone is different and your body will heal in its own time. Some women only need to go and get it drained once of twice and then it resolves.

Hopefully your consultant/nurses will be sympathetic and allow you to go and get it drained as and when it needs it. It's a nuisance but it will resolve. I had very large breasts and was told it is more common for women who had larger breasts.

Hope you are feeling more comfortable after your appointment on Weds.
Elinda x

Aly1971
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Robbie Jane, the nerve pain is a nightmare isn't it? I've been advised to gently massage E45 cream into my arm or get someone else to do it if its too painful. Also brushing the painful area with soft fabrics like a silk scarf. I think it stimulates the nerve endings to heal. Keep up the exercises I do the ones from the BCC leaflet and additional ones from an NHS leaflet I was given when I left hospital. Hope things improve for you. X
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi,
I had ANC 12 days ago. My drain was removed a week later, but I have developed a Seroma. 200 mls were drained off today and I was told that I would need to go back in a couple of days for further drainage.
The above blogs are really helpful and reassurring.
I'm wondering if anyone can advise me about the 'nerve' pain underneath my arm where the ANC took place. I've tried tramadol, codeine, paracetamol and brufen. Nothing is working and this is causing me a lot of distress.
Robbie Jane
angiepops
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

hi aly
do it whenever needed, you can feel the start of the build up i think, so i used to do it then before it could get bigger.
good luck, dont rub!
angie xx
Aly1971
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi ladies, thanks so much for the posts and info. Angie and sdfmeg I like the sound of the very gentle massage / stroking how often did you do it? Catzooo and stillme it's veryreassuring to hear that it does go away eventually, can't wait to get it drained on Weds reckon there's going to be about a pint! At the moment I feel like I've got a balloon instead of my boob. I'll keep this thread going with my progress in case anyone's having the same concerns.
Aly x
angiepops
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

hi
i had the same after my mx and anc and my nurse told me to lay flat on the bed and extra extra gentle move my hand across the site, but not to rub. the gentle motion was supposed to let the fluid disperse to other places. i do think it worked for me, it relieved some of the pressure but you must be careful not to rub.
it did feel weird growing a new boob though.
hope this helps,
angie xx
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

I had my Mx and ANC seven weeks ago. My chest is OK, but looks like I have a small scrotum under my armpit. I'm not sure if it helps, but I have been trying to use self-massage to encourage the lymph to go towards the nodes at the base of my neck, my groin and under my opposite armpit. The swelling is going down. Might be me, or it might be going down in any case - but at least I'm doing something. Massage should be incredibly gentle: enough to stretch the skin but not move the muscles underneath. This may help:

http://www.gloshospitals.org.uk/SharePoint5/Patient%20Information%20Leaflets/GHPI0883.pdf
catzooo
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi Aly.
I had MX and ANC 5 weeks ago today. Still got some fluid in chest and underarm. I go to the hospital Fridays to ge it drained. Good news is that last Friday was only 275 mls came out. The week before was 450 mls.
The tell me nothing I can do to help it re-absorb.
I had chemo first which they told me does make it take longer to heal as my blood is still not back to normal.
it is annoying, and it does hurt as it gets bigger.
But it is slowing down. At last.
Stillme
Member

Re: Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi, I had the same problem. I had fluid drained about 10 times over 6 weeks, and thought it was never going to go - but it did! I found the seroma really uncomfortable and, at the time more, distressing than losing the breast. Everybody is different, but it should clear up with a little help or on it's own.
Aly1971
Member

Fluid build up / seroma post op - feel like I'm growing a new breast!

Hi, I've read quite a few post about underarm fluid build up/seromas post MX and ANC but nothing about fluid building up around the mastectomy area - ie where the breast used to be.
Im 12 days post op and have been to see the clinic nurse a couple of times and they have said if I can bear it to wait for my post op appt on Wednesday. It is a little uncomfortable but not painful but doeskin look like there is a huge amount of fluid in there and I worry that once drained it will just return and drag on.

Has anyone else had a similar experience / have any advice for helping the body reabsorb the fluid? Any advice / similar experience would be very reassuring!