It sounds like you could possibly have a seroma, if you are concerned you could always just give your bcn a call in the morning to get some advise. I had a seroma under my arm, felt a bit like a golf ball,bit uncomfortable but it did go down over several weeks.
I had a WLE and SNB on 24 August and was doing well until 10 days post op when I noticed a painful and uncomortable swelling under the scar where the nodes were removed. It was sore a few days before the swelling developed. I contacted the hospital and as it was a saturday evening I was advised to contact my gp out of hours service which I did. I was seen that night and the doctor thought it was an infection and prescribed antibiotics. I have tried to manage with it until I see my consultant for the post op check on 13 Sept. I and have been in touch with my BC Nurse but it's becoming more painful although no more swollen. Nurse think's it's more likely a seroma. I am now going to the hospital tomorrow to have it looked at. Just wondering what to expect, not looking forward to it!
Hi all, I seem to have similar. Had lumpectomy nearly 4 weeks ago. There's an area near the scars that is swollen and very sore to touch. The two scars (from nodes removal and lump removal...actually quite close together) feels rock hard. Also it feels tender under my arm.
I'm seeing oncologist tomorrow to arrange rads so hope she can tell me what's going on...and IF I can still start rads without being properly healed.
I'll let you know what she says.
Great info on here as usual.
Best wishes to all,
Oh that's sounding good, must feel so much better after being drained. In time it will fill up less and then you will feel normal again!! I go on Friday to see the Oncologist and will get dates for radiotherapy. My first appointment was cancelled due to the breast infection. Sleep time now, goodnight
I hope they can drain it again for you. I still have some fluid (4 weeks since the op). It has gone down a lot, it found an exit route of it's own!! Mine is not in a lump, so it is not drainable, it is dispersed throughout the breast. I was very red and inflamed as I had an infection. Maybe you need to check if you have an infection?
Brilliant reply Julia, lots of useful tips there. Sorry to hear you have also been having problems. It must be difficult for you with a 3 year old, I hope you have got people around to help you.
I was back at the hospital this week, saw the surgeon, had a scan, haven't been drained, but have had antibiotic dosage doubled, and more added. He also gave me proper painkillers as ibuprofen were not a lot of use. Within 2 days the bright red inflammation has gone. Still got lots of fluid but it is less than before so much more comfortable. Still resting a lot and sleeping loads but I can feel my body responding now to the latest antibiotics. My BCN has been wonderful, I feel so lucky to have had her support.
Take care Julia and try next to to do too much
Hi, answering because I found a way to deal with mild seroma in the last week that works for me.
Background: I'm almost 4 weeks post right-side mastectomy with implant and sentinel lymph node removal. I was basically fine the first week after surgery, then overdid activities (going out, dragging my 3-year-old around, etc) and was in real trouble with swelling and fluid accumulating around the implant. After a scan they decided not to drain the fluid, but by that point I'd been on ibuprofen almost a week (shouldn't go over 10 days) and I decided to try some things on my own.
Elements of getting rid of fluid & swelling:
1. Doing as close to nothing as possible. I stopped doing any recommended exercises that pulled on the fluid zones as well. I slept a huge amount. Very boring.
2. Wearing tight sports bra and added compression. I thought of it like with a twisted ankle: the key to not letting the swelling get worse is to have some compression (obviously not too much: blood circulation is essential to healing). The tight sports bra I had was good, but it didn't compress the part between the breasts, where a lot of the fluid had ended up (not coincidentally, I believe). I rolled up a sock and put it between the breasts to add compression there, and it worked. I kept this (sports bra + sock) on at night as well, wasn't too uncomfortable (especially since the swelling & fluid did go down).
3. Sleeping and lying down on 2 pillows, arm to the side. The idea is that the mastectomy should be the highest point when you are lying down, so pillows under there (and head for comfort), with the corner of the pillow sticking out between the chest and arm. This makes the arm stick out to the side, and the fluid drains into the arm.My arm was damn painful for a few days, but I figure this is better than it being in the wound site, and eventually that went away too. If by accident I slept with my arm along my chest (normal position), the fluid & swelling backed up again in the mastectomy site, so I think this is really key.
Sorry for long post, but figure it might help some people. So far things are a lot better, although I carried something too heavy again today (with my good arm!) and the swelling has flared up again. I expect it will go back down over night.
Good luck to all,
I might see if I can pluck up courage to try it!! I never anticipated or even knew about these kind of problems. All a bit of a shock. Week 1 I felt great, and then it all changed. Though actually we have had quite big operations affecting our nerve endings etc etc. All worthwhile when it has been to save our lives. So impressed at the speed of it all.
Yes, I know what you mean, it feels a bit 'try it and see'....hmmm......well, I guess you will know pretty quickly if it feels comfortable or not and at the least a nice bath will be relaxing 😊The 'massage' was incredibly light, literally lying on your back with fingertips over the skin going in different directions. It wasn't a pummelling type of thing, I can't really explain it as I was given an image print out to use for reference.....might be worth asking if applicable to you thought? (BCN)
Hi Charys thanks for replying - I appreciate it as have been feeling quite sorry for myself!! (not my normal way to be). I never thought about floating it in a bath as I only have showers. I am going to give it a go. I had wondered about a warm flannel. Massage is not an option at the moment as it is too solid, big and painful. I feel a bit wary about heat though in case it stimulates more fluid! It is all a case of being new to things like this isn't it?? thanks Anne
Mine was nothing like as bad as yours, and has gradually dispersed on its own bar a small area. I was given some massage things to do, which didn't seem to do much for me, I found.....what did help and this may seem a bit nuts.....was lying in a warm bath sort of floating on my front resting up on my arms and allowing the warmth and flow of the water around me 'move things around'.Might be worth a try ?
Hi, I have just been reading this thread - I needed to find someone who is going through something similar to myself!!! Had lumpectomy and 4 nodes removed 2 weeks ago. Had follow up with BCN and all is well, cancer not spread, so just have to have radiotherapy. But, a week ago the breast became infected, on antibiotics and have a giant fluid filled boobs. Bright red and very sore. The nurse did not want to risk draining it and said the fluid would disperse on its own.It has reduced slightly, but not by much. I feel as though my breast is about to burst. I am going to go see surgery nurse or my GP this week I think. I really hate the thought of coping with this for the next few weeks!! Suppose I don't really have a choice though :)!!! Hope everyone else feels better than me!!!! :). Anne
Ahhhhhhh ok, that's interesting, so it might not have been a miracle cure lol! Right, I am on my guard and will take your advice . Thanks x
Hi Charys I found exactly the same but the fluid does build up again. I tend to alternate days or sometimes half days between sports bra and ordinary bra. BTW I have an implant, don't know if that makes a difference.
Okay,,,....this is interesting......thought I would update this to help anyone else in the future.....
ive had lymphodaema down the right side of the breast which had the surgery, for err, what is it 4 weeks or 5? I was given massage to do by the BCN to try and move it, hadn't worked. Last night for the first night since surgery I could not be bothered to wear the bra all night. Guess what the swelling and fluid has practically gone. My theory is that by not allowing the breast some natural movement at night it has trapped the fluid and by allowing the natural movement the fluid has shifted.
Ahahhhhhha, OK, got there......what would we do without this forum ? Thanks , so you actually developed it at the same time, relatively speaking, as I did.......wow we are in tune lol Great ( well not great as in it feels great lol) I will do as you say. Arm above head as I type. You know I'm fibbing don't you ? 😜 Now I am well informed for both conditions.
Hi Charys, I had my snb a week before you and developed similar symptoms about a week ago. When I queried it with my bcn and hospital physio I was reassured that all the bruising and healing inside and of nerves etc as well as the scar takes a while. I had a little bit of cording which literally looked like a small cord under the skin and as I became bored with the exercises I was given by the hospital I just make sure I raise my arm and keep it raised above my head several times a day. This has definitely helped. I am still numb and sore but find raising my arm easy now and can use it almost as usual now. As you will be going straight into radiotherapy you need to do the exercises as my understanding is that you need to raise your arm when you have radiotherapy. Hope this helps X
Ok, I've looked it up, yes, it could be that. Ohhh bottoms, I don't know which but the cording seems more likely , but it flipping hurts. Right Ho, I guess I need to reassess tomorrow. Thanks for your replies.
Oh flip, cording, what is cording Julie ? What causes cording and how would I know ? I can't see any much swelling at all, just really hurts to touch round the area below the incision mark, and round to my booby. Then there is pain in trying to lift my arm.
.....and my arm is a bit achey in general.
Thanks Sue. I was just starting to get concerned, as no pain or movement problems yesterday. I didn't realise seromas could happen just from 2 nodes being removed, thought it as with more removed. That's fine, I will do as you advised.....and somehow some warmth seems to help.....a bit of light massaging about and wait a few more days and hope it resolves. I don't want another trip back to the dreaded clinic, so will happily sit it out unless much worse. It's nuts, a few weeks ago I'd not had anything other than a cold in decades...and no GP visits.....suddenly I feel like I should an NHS gold card. I'm sure loads of us here feel the same, you go from 'nothing wrong' to 'stacks of intervention' in such a short time. Thanks so much.
Is it Seroma or is it cording? I've have cording since my total lymph node removal, its painfull when i lift my arm up and also the skin in sensitive to the touch (although thats strange as it is also numb).
If its cording you need to stretch it, even thought is hurts, and take pain killers regularly. Ibuprofen if you can. It can take a while to go, im 4 week post op and still have some of it but ive read up and it does go eventually, it either snaps (part of mine has gone, it felt more lie a pop than a snap though) or just improves over time.
Hope this helps.
Hi there, it's very common to get a seroma after surgery and they don't usually like to drain them unless they get very big due the the risk of infection. This does vary across the country though as I know some people have had multiple drainings to try and get rid of them. The hope is that the fluid will gradually find another route and disperse by itself. I had what I called a squashed orange beneath my scar and yes, I agree it can be very painful and restrict movement. Mine did calm down after about 5/6 weeks but unfortunately flared up again during radiotherapy. It tooks several weeks to reduce again and now, almost a year on, it is still there but is much smaller and not sore at all so neither I or the doctors are worried. The only tip I can give you really is to gently massage the area around it to try and stimulate the lymph vessels to open up and allow the fluid to move more freely. Obviously, if it continues to grow or gets really painful then I would call your BC nurse for advice. Take care Sue xx
Right I'm back about the same thing. This under the arm thing is getting more and more painful. No major obvious swelling but yesterday I could put my arm above my head and today I can't. What can I do to help absorption of fluid that I reckon is building up ?
ok, I am just over two weeks post lumpectomy and sentinel node removal. Scar good, healing good, but since yesterday the area under the lymph node scar and down the side of the breast feels considerably more painful than it did a week ago. No sign of redness, infection etc. Maybe some slight 'doming' in the area. Is this possibly a slight fluid build up ? It's quite a way to you hospital.....and I certainly don't think it is anything to necessitate a trip there today. However, I am asking advice from you ladies about slight Seroma ( if this is what it is): is to something that can naturally resolve over time? I've see people need draining, I'm not in that category of either pain or swelling at all I'm sure, but I was wondering what I can do to assist nature if nature does indeed deal with it ?